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Helping children, young people and their families thrive

Sleep

Sleep is vital for everyone’s brain health, but especially for growing and developing children. Without enough sleep, certain brain functions may not work as effectively as they otherwise could.

How much sleep does my child need?

  • Newborns to three months should sleep 10 1/2 to 18 hours a day, but they don't have a regular schedule. They may sleep from a few minutes to several hours at one time.
  • Babies four to 11 months should start to sleep through the night, for 9 to 12 hours at a time. They should also take naps throughout the day, ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Toddlers one to two years need about 11 to 14 hours a day. Most of this should happen at night, but they should also take a nap (or naps) during the day.
  • Children three to five should get 11 to 13 hours a night. Their naps should get shorter and happen less often. Most kids don't nap past age five.
  • Children six to 13 need nine to 11 hours of shuteye. Homework and electronic devices keep kids busy at this age, so it's important to set a sleep schedule and enforce a regular bedtime routine.
  • Teenagers 14 and up need eight to 10 hours of sleep. Their circadian rhythms shift around the time they hit puberty, so they may find it hard to fall asleep as early as they used to.
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Children who aren’t sleeping enough may have trouble paying attention in school. They may start to have behaviour problems, such as tantrums or extreme reactions to small events, at both school and home.

Top bedtime tips

  • A warm bath before bedtime will help your child relax
  • Dim the lights - this encourages the body to produce the sleep hormone, melatonin
  • Establish the same bedtime routine every night
  • Read a story together before bed
  • Limit the use of the smartphones, tablets, TVs, computers, gaming machines etc in the hour before bed

If you are struggling to get your child to sleep come into one of our family centres. Here staff will give you a few tips to make bedtime easier, as well as talk through the issues you are facing.

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Need to talk

Need to talk?

If you would like to talk to one of our local Family Support workers to see how we can help, pop into one of our family centres, email contact@family-support.org.uk or phone 020 8753 6070.

We're here to help with tailored support for you and your family - just ask!

Houra from Masbro

Worried about a child?

If you are worried about a child or young person, please call our team on 020 8753 6600.

If you are worried that a child or young person is at immediate risk, please contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 500 or help@nspcc.org.uk or call the police on 999

Remember Childline is always there for any young person online and on the phone anytime. If you are worried about yourself or a friend they are there for you.