Sleep is vital for children’s and adolescents’ wellbeing. Sleep supports healthy development of the body and mind. Evidence shows that children and adolescents who do not get enough sleep have more trouble learning. They are less attentive and motivated, have poor problem solving, more confusion, increased irritability, reduced memory, impaired communication, slower processing of information, poorer judgement, diminished reaction times and more indifference. Lack of sleep can also lead to behaviour and mood issues, impacting negatively upon relationships, empathy and leading to mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depressed mood.
As with adults, every child is different in terms of how much sleep they need. The amount of sleep your child needs also changes as they age. For children aged 6-13 years should ideally be sleeping for 9-11 hours, although anywhere from 7-12 hours may be appropriate for some children.