Why Is Sleep so Important to Children?

Sleep is a basic physiological need. It is crucial for our health because when we are asleep, our body repairs and restores itself.

For children, sleep is their time of growing. Lack of sleep hinders growth, robbing the body of the vital rest needed for energy to grow. We grow more in the first five years than at any other period of our lives. This growth is also seen in the development of our brains. Brain development in the first five years of our lives affects our entire learning lives. Sleep deprivation in children may hinder physical and mental development.

Long-term sleep deprivation could cause chronic fatigue. A child who sleeps well tends to be happier, more settled, healthier and more easily managed both day and night.

Parental sleep is also important. During the night, if your child sleeps soundly in between feeds, you are more likely to be able to cope with waking to feed them. A rested parent has a happier frame of mind and can manage the challenges of parenthood. An unsettled child, who wakes several times during the night to be settled or fed, can cause sleep deprivation which affects the whole family.

A sleep needs chart from birth to five years old can be seen under the heading Suggested Sleep Needs on our FAQ page under Questions relating to sleep.

Tips: If you teach a baby to self settle they will not to be dependent on someone or something to put them off to sleep.

Remember: Sleep induces sleep. A well rested child is a happy child.

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Disclaimer: Article on our website are for education purposes only. Please consult with your doctor to make sure this information is right for your child.


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