Sleep is essential for development, immunity, learning, memory and is important for helping a child heal and recover. When we refer to sleep, we look at the quantity and quality of sleep alongside the sleep routine. For a child to grow and participate in daily life successfully, it is essential that they are getting a good amount of quality sleep. This is why at LCTS we are big supporters of a positive sleep routine! 

Every child and is so different, but below is a guide for what children roughly need every night: 

  • ages 3 to 5: 10 to 13 hours (including naps)
  • ages 6 to 12: 9 to 11 hours
  • ages 13 to 18: 8 to 10 hours 

Sleep is the time for restoration and for children's bodies to recharge and retain the information they have learned throughout the day. During deep non-REM sleep, the body's energy is restored, growth and repair occurs, and important brain development hormones are released. 

When a regular sleep routine is enforced, it can help with a number of different areas, including; 

  • Positive weight management 
  • Reduced risk of diseases 
  • Improved concentration and independent play 
  • Boosts immune function
  • Decreased inflammation across the body
  • Improved mood
  • Better ability to regulate emotions
  • Better ability to respond to situations (i.e., decrease in problem behaviour)
  • Better ability to sit and eat a nutritious meal (i.e. regulates blood sugar which in turn can impact sleep/mood and behaviours) 

Sometimes even when you establish good sleeping habits with your child, they can still present with other sleep challenges. For example, 

  • having trouble falling or staying asleep
  • sleepwalking
  • wetting the bed
  • night terrors
  • teeth grinding
  • snoring
  • trouble breathing while asleep, or taking long pauses between breaths
  • sleeping with their mouth open 

If you have any concerns about your child’s sleep or sleep patterns it is essential to seek a medical review and reach out to a sleep specialist who can support you and your little one to develop a positive sleep routine. 

Please refer to other blog posts that have some tips on how to establish and encourage a positive sleep routine!

February 07, 2023 — Joyce Rez