Sleep for children and youth
Sleep and school-aged children (5 to 13 years)
School-aged children sleep about 9 to 11 hours. At this age, children have pressure from school, sports and other activities. Their interest in TV, computers, video games, and social media increases which can make it hard to fall asleep. Poor sleep may lead to mood swings and behaviour problems that can affect their ability to learn and function at school. It is important to teach children about healthy sleep habits as they become more independent.
Sleep and youth (14 to 17 years)
Most teens tend to stay up late and wake up later in the morning. This sleep-wake cycle shift is normal in teenagers and explains why some teens can’t seem to fall asleep before 11 p.m. or later. Teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night but with early school start times and social pressures, many teens are falling short and are becoming sleep deprived.
Teens often have irregular sleep patterns over the week, usually staying up late and sleeping in later on the weekends. It’s important to promote a regular sleep pattern and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day–even on weekends!
Teens’ natural sleep cycle is in conflict with many school start times. Schools that have set later start times found that:
- Students get on average one hour more of sleep each school night.
- Attendance improves.
- Students are more on time and alert.
- Grades improve.
This item was last modified on August 27, 2019