How much Sleep do Children aged 5-11 Years Need?

by | Hormone Health, Kids and Teens Health, Sleep, Sports Fitness

child sleeping

Sleep and Busy Children

Sleep for children is more important than most of us realise. Today’s children have very busy schedules, and this is only going to increase. Starting from school, attending sports practice or other activities to doing their homework, taking care of pets and all-important running around with friends and letting loose. 

Their day is extremely busy for their tiny bodies and going minds. The busier the day the more important a good nights sleep. Sleep is when your body recharges, rebuilds, and gets ready for tomorrow. 

It is the same reason why every living thing needs sleep, from plants to animals to even fish. It is to give your body a tiny vacation and major renovation to fix itself.

A good nights sleep will make anyone feel more settled and positive. When our brain is fully rested we are able to concentrate more, our memory is stronger and we can deal with emotional fluctuations and have better behaviour. All of this results in children being able to learn better and perform at their optimal level both in and out of the classroom.

On top of all this sleep may also strengthen our immune system, in turn, reduces the risk of infection and illness.

Sleep and Brain Recovery

Your body and your brain need sleep. 

Sleep is the time when our brain really does its magic. It removes used and old neutron connections and rebuilds new ones. It goes through all the information and replaces, stores and removes them as necessary. Your brain also replaces chemicals and solves problems while you snooze.

Most kids don’t get enough sleep. Kids 5 to 12 years old need 9 to 12 hours each night. Not every kid is the same and some kids need more sleep than others.

Not getting enough sleep will leave you feeling heavy and groggy, the feeling is awful and leaves you at not your optimal. Now image what this does to children and teens, they already have a hard time dealing with their changing hormones, busy school and extracurricular activity, the changing tide of social cliques and groups and then throw in their lack of sufficient sleep, unrested body and a mind running on nearly empty… it’s a recipe for disaster. 

This disaster often comes in the way of children feeling moody, tired, and even cranky. This makes it hard to pay attention or follow directions. Even simple schoolwork may feel impossible. Your child may feel clumsy playing their favourite sport or musical instrument.

Sufficient Sleep for Children

We now know getting sufficient sleep is essential for growing bodies and minds. Doctors and health experts that children between the ages of 5-11 years need 9-11 hours of sleep a night. Children should be gotten into a habit of sleeping early, this is both for good habit but also to sync their body clock with the rising and setting of the sun. Studies have has been shown that syncing our waking and sleeping hours as close as possible to sunrise and sunset makes us perform to the best ability. 

Puberty affects teens sleep patterns a lot. Because of their rapid body and biochemistry changes, they require more sleep.

This is yet another reason to get good sleep.  It helps your body recover and regenerate, which means if you don’t have a good night sleep you won’t grow as well. Secondly, too little sleep affects the body’s ability to build anti-bodies, with a compromised immune system you are more susceptible to germs and illnesses.

For these reason’s it is important for kids to get a good nights sleep and ensure they have good sleep hygiene.