My daughter sleeps from 10pm-7am every night and usually takes 1 hour nap in the nursery. If she misses her nap, she'll go to bed early. So overall, getting 10 hour a day.

NHS (UK) recommends 11.5 hours night + 1.5 hours day at this age, so we are 3 hours short. But she's otherwise active and doesn't have problem waking up in the morning.

This is related to this question Toddler going to sleep very late, but if there is nothing wrong with sleeping late, I would quite enjoy more time with her.

  • OK, yes, but I'd still recommend longer sleep.
    – wast
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 12:28

4 Answers 4


The Short Version

In an article from the National Sleep Foundation regarding how much sleep kids need, they state that for a 2 year old it is recommended that they get between 11 and 14 hours of sleep per day but also acknowledge that anywhere between 9 and 16 hours may be appropriate depending on the individual. Anything outside of that range was categorized as "not recommended". So it seems like your toddler is within an acceptable range.

Looking ahead to 3 year olds, the amount of recommended sleep drops a bit, so I'm not worried that your child might be getting to the point of needing less sleep a little quicker than average.

The Longer Version

In a study published in the Sleep Health journal (which is affiliated with the National Sleep Foundation (an American thing)), the researchers gathered a large group of sleep related studies, papers and articles and distributed them to members of various sleep experts and medical organizations, which included the American Academy of Pediatrics. These members were asked to review the material, and then vote on whether a given amount of sleep was appropriate for someone in a given age group. The researchers compiled all the votes and grouped the hours of sleep into categories based on how many people in the voting group agreed or disagreed on the appropriateness of the amount of sleep for someone in the given age group. The results are as follows:

enter image description here From the same research paper cited above

The study also has a caveat that all this is talking about how much time is actually spent sleeping compared to time in bed. The research material used often did not make the distinction, which they state would bias the numbers towards the higher end of what is really needed. They also state that no mention was made about the quality of sleep and how that affects the recommendations. These (along with a few other things they mention in the paper) are just some things to keep in mind when evaluating how your child compares to these recommendations.

Given that data, 10 hours for 2.5 year old (right between the 2 and 3 year olds) doesn't seem out of line at all to me. As long as she seems to be sleeping well and is happy and healthy, she should be just fine.


It's going to depend in the child and how much sleep they need.

It's like ant adult, some need more sleep, some need less.

My 2.5 year old gets put down at 730, and is in bed till 7 the next morning. She's not sleeping the while time though.

Best you can do and put them to bed, and adjust schedules as they seem tired or not. There's no way to make them sleep


I am no doctor, but there is no reason to believe that every human being needs an identical amount of sleep, and the general state of knowledge of how sleep works and its purpose is still fairly shallow. We are making progress, but I would take such generalized suggestions with a grain of salt. Your daughter is not a statistically average 2.5 year-old. There is no such thing; she is a unique human being.

I would take my cues from her. If she does not appear to be sleepy or suffering, then I would assume that it is okay and enjoy your time together. If she seems sleepy during the day, then make an adjustment.


I have a friend, who since infancy sleeps 3 hours a night. It is all she has ever needed. There is nothing wrong with her, she just has never needed much sleep. But she cannot do with less than 3 hours.

Now, as to your child, sounds fine to me. If you are truly worried, ask her pediatrician during her next visit. But if she is functioning fine, not overly tired or fussy, I wouldn't worry.

  • How old is your friend? Are you sure she wasn't exaggerating? Is she that consistent? What job does she have? Is the passion for her work keeping her up at night? I hope she doesn't operate heavy machinery. It's possible to sleep half-awake during her waking hours and I hope that's not what she's doing. Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 3:54
  • She was in her 40's the first time I met her. And her own kids confirmed it. She was a college professor. Says she doesn't know why she is like that, just she always has been. As a child her parents installed a lock on the outside of her door to keep her in her room.
    – DCook
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 17:59

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