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Health and social care

Sleep advice for young people

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.

Bedtime routine

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.

Healthy snacks

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.

Keep active

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.

Bedroom environment

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.

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Sleep support and resources

There are a range of resources to support you and your child with sleep.

Resources for Schools

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Also see

Public Health

Station Rise, West Offices, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 553866