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Sleep Hygiene

It is a common misconception that sleep isn't as important as eating or getting enough water during the day. But it is just as important as eating and enough drinking water, maybe even more important. Ensuring your child has enough sleep is vital, as the effects of not getting enough can impact their health.

Sleep is important as it:

  • Is where your child does their growing and developing

  • Allows them to rest and recharge

  • Allows them to focus at school the next day

  • Good for their mental health and physical health

  • Gives them energy for their day

  • Increases their ability to learn new things

  • Improves their behaviour

How much sleep do children actually need?

The Sleep Foundation recommends the following:

  • Children ranging from ages 3-5 years old should be getting 10-13 hours of sleep per night.

  • Children aged 6-13 years old should be getting 9-11 hours of sleep per night.

  • Teenagers aged 14-17 years old should be getting 8-10 hours of sleep per night.

Aiming for your child to have a good night's sleep within the recommended quantity, can ensure your child can function well at school and at home.

What to do if my child isn't getting enough sleep

There are a number of reasons why your child may be not getting enough sleep. It is common as there are many of today's distractions that can over stimulate your child before bed time, which can cause them to have trouble getting to sleep.

Here are some things you can do to ensure your child has a good sleep:

  • Have a calming bedroom set up, this could include comfy blankets, no stimulating colours or light

  • Have a sleep schedule. This means sticking to bedtime and wakeup times even on the weekends. This ensures your child have a good sleep every night.

  • It can also be beneficial if you have a relaxing night time routine before bed. This could include having dinner, then shower, getting dressed into pyjamas and then reading a book with your child before lights out. This wind down time can get your child into a relaxed state for sleep.

  • It is a good idea for your child not to use electronic devices such as tablets, phones and television. As these devices project blue light, which stimulates your child's brain and blocks out the hormone melatonin, which we need to become drowsy and sleepy.

  • It may be a good idea to not give your child sugar or food/drinks containing caffeine just before bed, as this gives them an unnecessary boost of energy. Which they don't need when it's bedtime.

For further information see:


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