Here Is How Much Sleep Your 4 Year Old Needs To Function Well.

Here Is How Much Sleep Your 4 Year Old Needs To Function Well.

Children need adequate sleep to aid their growth and development. It becomes important to make sure your child is having enough sleep.

Sleep is very essential to the overall health of children. How much sleep varies from child to child. Your child may not need as much sleep as when he or she was a baby, but this doesn't negate how important sleep is to your child. However, how much sleep does a 4-year-old need? At four years old most children are preschoolers. So this article will aim to provide sleeping guidelines for that particular demographic. 

When is a child sleep deprived? 

how much sleep does a 4 year old need

This can be tricky to pinpoint. This is because unlike adults, children don't grow lethargic when they're not getting enough sleep. If anything they grow hyperactive. This causes them to be unable to go to bed when it's bedtime. And most parents might interpret this as their child not needing a lot of sleep. 

According to Jodi Mindell, author of Sleeping Through the Night, “If a child has poor sleep habits or refuses to nap or go to bed before 10 at night, his parents often assume that he just doesn't need much sleep. That's probably not the case – it's more likely that such a child is sleep-deprived, resulting in hyper, overtired behaviour at bedtime.”


How much sleep does a four-year-old need? 

Source: Pinterest


Here's a complete guideline on how much your child should sleep. 

  1. Newborns (0-3 months)

Recommended: 14-17 hours
May be appropriate:

  • 11-13 hours (Not less than 11 hours)
  • 18-19 hours (Not more than 19 hours) 
  1. Infants (4-11 months)

Recommended: 12-15 hours
May be appropriate:

  • 10-11 hours (Not less than 10 hours)
  • 16-18 hours (Not more than 18 hours)


  1. Toddlers (1-2 years)

Recommended: 11-14 hours
May be appropriate:

  • 9-10 hours (Not less than 9 hours)
  • 15-16 hours (Not more than 16 hours)


  1. Preschoolers (3-5 years)

Recommended: 10-13 hours
May be appropriate:

  • 8-9 hours (Not less than 8 hours)
  • 14 hours (Not more than 14 hours)


  1. School-aged Children (6-13 years)

Recommended: 9-11 hours
May be appropriate:

  • 7-8 hours (Not less than 7 hours)
  • 12 hours (Not more than 12 hours)


Risk factors for a late bedtime 

If your child goes to bed late, below are the risk factors. 

how much sleep does a 4 year old need

  • Sleep deprivation

     It is simple math. If your child goes to bed late he or she won't be able to cover the recommended sleep time. And this is going to lead to sleep deprivation. And this will, in turn, make the child refuse to turn in at bedtime. This is because each time the child passes his or her natural bedtime, the body releases adrenaline, which causes hyperactivity.


  • Night walking

Your child will more likely night walk if he or she goes to bed late. The wakes up often in the night because he or she can't sleep soundly. 


  • Waking up early 

Though this might seem illogical, late bedtime is responsible when kids are always waking up early


How can you develop a healthy sleeping routine for your child? 

how much sleep does a 4 year old need

The following are tips you use to develop a healthy sleeping routine for your child. 

  • Be deliberate about it 

Sleep is very important and you shouldn't underestimate how much it can affect the overall health of your child. Children learn a lot through observation. So be a role model. Cultivate a healthy sleeping habit. Staying up for into the night doing one work or the other isn't sending the right message. If you stick to a healthy sleeping routine and a generally healthy lifestyle, it tells your child the importance of sleep with you having to say a word. 

  • Stick to a regular daily routine 

Though for most parents it is unwritten, a daily routine is like a timetable for when anything is done during the day. Waking time should be the same every day, as well as bedtime, mealtime etc. This helps your child develop a sense of order. Make sure that whichever time you've chosen for bedtime is practical anywhere, so that wherever you are you can put the child to bed at that time. 

  • Minimize screen time 

Most kids can stick to the screen for a long time. It can even get addictive. So, remove or turn off all screens (TV, laptop, tablet) from your child's room when it is bedtime. It is recommended that you should remove those things one hour before bedtime. 

Most sleep problems are easily treated. So if you notice any symptoms of sleep problems in your child, talk to your paediatrician. The paediatrician may have suggestions to improve your child's sleeping habits. 

Read also: Lying down with your kids till they sleep is not a bad thing

Written by

Lydia Ume