The Importance of Children Getting Enough Sleep

In the whirlwind of everyday parenting — amidst the hustle and bustle of playdates, schoolwork, and extracurricular activities — remembering the significance of a good night’s sleep for children can often fall by the wayside. However, sleep is a foundational pillar of a child’s physical and mental development — equally as important as nutrition and exercise. This comprehensive guide explores the science behind sleep, common issues, and practical strategies to ensure your child reaps the myriad benefits of slumber.

The Science Behind It


The American Academy of Sleep Medicine advises varying hours of sleep depending on age:

  • Infants (4-12 months) require 12-16 hours per day (including naps),
  • Toddlers (1-2 years) should have 11-14 hours,
  • Preschoolers (3-5 years) need 10-13 hours,
  • School-aged children (6-12 years) benefit from 9-12 hours, and
  • Teenagers (13-18 years) should aim for 8-10 hours nightly.

These guidelines aren’t arbitrary; they’re grounded in countless studies underscoring sleep’s role in consolidating memory, supporting growth and tissue repair, and bolstering immune function. Sleep essentially acts as the reset button for a child’s brain and body, preparing them for the learning and growth that lies ahead each day.

Common Issues in Children

Despite sleep’s critical role, many children struggle with issues, including:

  • Bedtime Resistance: Battles around going to bed are common but can often be mitigated by establishing a consistent and calming bedtime routine.
  • Night Awakenings: Many children experience waking up during the night. While this can stem from various causes, maintaining a soothing environment can help them self-soothe back to sleep.
  • Early Waking: Early morning awakenings can disrupt the family’s sleeping pattern and can be addressed by adjusting bedtime schedules and ensuring stimulating activities are reserved for daylight hours.

Tips for Establishing Healthy Sleep Habits

Creating and maintaining healthy sleeping habits can steer clear of many common issues:

  1. Consistency is Key: Stick to a regular sleeping schedule, even on weekends, to regulate your child’s internal clock.
  2. Develop a Bedtime Routine: A calming sequence of activities like a warm bath, storytime, or gentle stretches can signal to your child’s body that it’s time to wind down.
  3. Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment: Ensure your child’s bedroom is cool, quiet, and dark. Consider room-darkening shades and a white noise machine if necessary.
  4. Limit Screen Time: The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with sleep hormone production. Establish a tech-free zone at least an hour before bedtime.

The Long-Term Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Chronic sleep deprivation can have profound effects on a child’s wellness. Research links insufficient sleeping to various challenges, including:

  • Difficulties with attention
  • Memory
  • Decision-making
  • Creativity

Furthermore, persistent sleeping shortages are correlated with behavioral issues, emotional regulation difficulties, and an increased risk of obesity.

Understanding the Importance of Sleep

Ensuring your child gets enough sleep is one of the most impactful actions you can take to support their development and overall well-being. By prioritizing sleep and fostering healthy habits, you’re setting the foundation for not only their current health but also their future success and happiness. Remember, it’s never too early — or too late — to start. 

At LuHi Summer Camps, we more than understand the importance of sleeping. With a number of sports, activities, extracurriculars, and everything in between, your child needs adequate rest to recharge and remain energized throughout the day.

To learn more about children’s health and ways to keep them engaged, check out LuHi’s blog page; and contact us today to give your child the gift of a physically, mentally, and emotionally rewarding camp experience!

Back to Blog