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Nurturing Hearts & Noggins

Promoting academic, social, and emotional learning for lifelong success
Sleeping Child

All in a Good Night's Sleep

Do you struggle with getting your school-age child in bed each night?  Is it difficult to send them to bed when they're begging to stay up for "just a little while longer?"  If you are concerned about the amount of sleep that your child is getting at night, you have a number of reasons to be.  Children aged 5-12 need approximately 10-11 hours of sleep each night, however, research shows that many children are getting much less than that.  It is important for parents/caregivers to set a bedtime, be firm about it, and stick to it.  Sleep is critical to overall health, and insufficient sleep may substantially impact the physical, academic, social, and emotional development of children. 
  • Insufficient sleep is related to higher incidences of behavioral issues in school and is associated with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children
  • Adequate sleep is needed for optimal brain health
  • Lack of sleep can have adverse effects on the immune system
  • Sufficient sleep helps to regulate weight and may prevent weight gain in children
  • Students who receive sufficient sleep at night, generally come to school more focused and prepared to learn than students without adequate sleep
  • Students who receive a good night's sleep are also more relaxed and better equipped to manage their emotions throughout the day

What can you do?

  • Speak to your child about the importance of sleep
  • Explain that our bodies need sleep to help us grow and fight illnesses
  • Explain that our brains need sleep so we can concentrate and learn new things
  • Describe how "grumpy" they may be if they do not get enough sleep
  • Give your child a warm glass of milk or fruit before bedtime to help them wind down if they're having trouble


For more information about the importance of sleep and regular bedtimes for children, please check out:

Rosen, D. (2012).  Successful sleep strategies for kidsA Harvard Medical School Guide.  Cambridge:  Harvard University.

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