Of course you want your child to get a good night's rest, but have you ever stopped to consider the real importance of sleep for your child? Getting enough sleep each night can make your child healthier, stronger and help with school performance.
Every child is different, but the best way to tell if your child is getting enough sleep is to consider how hard it is for your child to wake up and if they are feeling sleepy during the day.
Suggested hours of sleep per night:
- Ages 1 to 2 years need 11 to 14 hours of sleep (including naps)
- Ages 3 to 5 years need 10 to 13 hours of sleep (including naps)
- Ages 6 to 12 years need 9 to 12 hours of sleep (no naps)
- Ages 13 to 18 years need 8 to 10 hours of sleep (no naps)
Your child needs enough sleep to grow and develop properly. Sleep keeps your child from getting sick less often by boosting the immune system, and can help prevent long-term disease like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
If your child isn’t getting enough sleep, their ability to learn and overall academic performance will suffer. The good news is that once sufficient sleep is restored, their brains are back on track.
Poor sleep can lead to mood swings, behavior problems and feelings of anxiety and depression.
Kids who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to use cigarettes and drink alcohol than kids who have better sleep habits.
Sleep gives your child’s body and muscles a chance to repair and recharge. Sleepy kids also tend to be clumsier, which can increase their risk for injury.