Why is sleep so important?

Sleep is really important and can help you in many ways. Sleep can:
  • help you to feel happy and balanced
  • allow your body to repair and maintain a strong immune system
  • help you to stay healthy and avoid getting sick
  • boost your energy levels
  • help you maintain a healthy weight
  • help you concentrate at school and improve grades
  • help keep you in a good mood so you don’t feel over tired or cranky. If you’re too tired it can be hard to get along with family and friends.

How much sleep do I need?

Children aged 5 to 12 years need at least 10-11 hours of sleep a night.

What happens if I don’t get enough sleep?

When you don’t get enough sleep it can affect how you feel. You might:
  • feel sad, down or depressed
  • begin to feel anxious or
  • just feel grumpy a lot of the time. 

Why can’t I sleep like I used to?

Everyone’s body clock is different, but puberty can also change your body clock. This can mean it is harder to get to sleep at night and to wake up in the morning. During puberty your body also needs sleep to support your growth spurts.

Can using electronic devices at night affect my sleep?

Yes. It is important to turn off your screens including your phone, tablet, laptop and even the TV at least 30 minutes to one hour before bedtime.  There is a small blue light in these devices and the more electronic devices that you use in the evening, the harder it is to fall asleep.

Tips for a good night’s sleep

  • Make your bedroom quiet, dark and cool in temperature
  • Listen to relaxing music
  • Exercise to make you feel more tired at night
  • Read a good book to help you wind down
  • Have a warm bath to relax before bed
  • Don’t eat too close to bedtime
  • Have a regular routine when you go to bed.  Try to go to bed at the same time each night as this helps your body clock get used to a routine.
  • Limit your use of technology and devices.

If you are worried about your sleep it is best to speak to an adult. If your sleep patterns are not healthy, it might be helpful to see your doctor.