Having a good night’s sleep is just as important as having a healthy diet and being physical active.
When we sleep it helps:
- our bodies to grow and heal
- our brains process and store the information that we have learnt through the day
- improve our concentration, productivity, and performance.
- support our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing
- improve our immunity and helps our bodies fight off infections and viruses
- maintain a healthy weight
Children and young people need the right amount of sleep dependent on their age group.
|Age group||Ideal sleep time|
|Toddlers||12 hours per night|
|Children age 3 to 6 years||11 to 12 hours per night|
|Children age 7 to 12 years||10 to12 hours per night|
|Teenagers||8 to 9 hours per night|
See more information and resources about young children and sleep:
Sleep tips for children and young people
If you consider the following factors it will help to ensure that children and young people get their best opportunity for a good night's sleep.
Try to have a bedtime routine and wake up at the same time each day even at the weekends.
Children aged 3 to 6 years need 10 to 12 hours, and children aged 7 to 12 years need 10 to 11 hours of sleep each day.
Turn off electronic devices
Turn off screens 1 hour before bed and don’t keep them in the bedroom at night.
Try reading, doing a jigsaw, colouring, or playing a board game instead. You could have a bath or shower, or listen to music to relax before bed.
Finish eating 1 hour before bed. Avoid food or drinks that are high in caffeine or sugar like sweets, chocolate, coffee, fizzy pop and energy drinks.
Try eating fruit, yoghurt or a bowl of cereal. Drink milk or water instead.
Limit screen time and keep active. Spend some time outside and aim for 60 minutes of activity a day.
It's easier to fall to sleep when your body needs to recharge from an active day.
If you can tidy up any mess and try to make the bedroom quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature.
Use dim lights to help your body feel sleepy.
See more information and sleep advice for children from The Sleep Charity.
Sleep support and resources
There are a range of resources to support you and your child with sleep.
- The Sleep Charity - expert information and support on sleep issues
- How much sleep does my child need - more advice from The Sleep Charity
- National Sleep Helpline - If you’d like to talk about your sleep, you can call the helpline on 03303 530 541 between 7.00pm and 9.00pm on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, or between 9.00am and 11.00am on Wednesdays
- Young Minds Sleep Problems - information and support for children and young people experiencing sleep problems
- The Teen Sleep Hub - aimed and teenagers and their parents or carers, this is the one-stop-shop for all you need to know about sleep; get the information and support you need to achieve a good night’s sleep
- NHS - Sleep problems in young children - sleep tips for children under 5 and support on how to get your child to go to bed
- Sleep Diary for Kids - free to download sleep diaries for children and teenagers
- Headspace for Kids - Sleep - learn how to create the conditions for a more restful night
Resources for Schools
- Sleep Champion Workshop - The Sleep Charity - training for professionals working in secondary schools
- Sleep - Year 6 Lesson Plan Pack - Public Health England
- Sleep - KS3 and KS4 Lesson Plan Pack - Public Health England
- The Teen Sleep Hub Schools - resources for KS3 and KS4 on tackling the reasons why young people don’t sleep well, the impact of sleep deprivation and encouraging students to think about the small changes they could make to sleep better
- Why do we need sleep - video by SciShow Kids on what happens when we sleep and why we feel so terrible when we don't get enough sleep