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Sleep: How Much is Enough?

One of the most frequent parenting questions that people have concerns how much sleep their child should be getting each night. And it is an important question, because getting enough sleep, at any age, is important for good health and performance.

Importance of Sleep for Children

How much sleep a child needs each night really is individual. Not all children will need the same amount of sleep each night. But, as a general rule of thumb, children in the elementary-school grades should get between 9 and 12 hours each night. Getting that much sleep each night will help keep your child feeling alert and able to engage in activity throughout the day. There are many reasons that sleep is essential when it comes to wellness, including:

  • It helps the brain function better and have better memory.
  • It plays an important role in helping us to maintain our weight and metabolism.
  • It helps to keep us from getting moody and irritable.
  • It is also believed to be an important factor in helping the body fight off illness and disease.

Getting enough sleep is such an important issue because, without it, we have a difficult time getting through our day. It can impact our attention span, overall performance, and even our moods. Because of this, it is especially important for children to get enough sleep. If they get enough sleep each night, they are likely to be more successful at whatever they attempt.

Encouraging Enough Sleep for your Child

Teaching your children about the importance of getting enough sleep is a good first start. In this age range, they are able to understand that their body and mind need ample sleep in order to work well. The best way to help them get the recommended amount of sleep each night is to establish a bedtime routine. It helps if children go to bed around the same time each night, with children this age usually going to bed somewhere around 8:00 p.m. An established, consistent bedtime routine will help them stay focused, know what to expect, and keep their body's sleep cycle on track.