AUS study of over 300 children aged one to 10 years suggests that the length of time they spend asleep varies widely at all ages and that an individual approach to a child's sleep behaviour is needed. The authors conclude that expectations in terms of what is an appropriate duration of sleep for a child should be adjusted to the individual sleep need.
The children were followed up at 12, 18 and 24 months after birth and then every year until the age of 10 years. Duration of sleep during early and middle childhood showed both long-term stability in sleep patterns and also yearly fluctuations within individual children. There was no association at any age between sleep duration and either height or weight.
Jenni OG, Molinari L, Caflisch JA, Largo RH. Sleep duration from ages 1 to 10 years: variability and stability in comparison with growth.Pediatrics2007; 130[4]: e769-776