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Sleep guidelines

Sleep guidelines 2019-06-20T09:03:59+00:00

Sleep is essential for a healthy child: a well-rested child is an active child, and an active child is a well-rested child.

How much sleep should my child get?

The Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines recommend the following amounts of sleep for children in a 24-hour period:

  • Newborns (0-3 months) – 14-17 hours
  • Infants (4-11 months) – 12-16 hours
  • Toddlers (1-2 years) – 11-14 hours
  • Pre-schooler (3-5 years) – 10-13 hours
  • School age (5-13 years) – 9-11 hours
  • Teenagers (14-17 years) – 8-10 hours

Tips to help your child get a good sleep

Have a consistent sleep routine

  • Try not to vary bedtime or wake-up time by more than 30 minutes – this helps to set the child’s internal body clock
  • For children older than five, try to avoid daytime napping

Make bedrooms screen-free zones

  • Screens can overstimulate children, making settling difficult
  • Excess light from screens can disrupt normal sleep rhythms and affect appetite regulation
  • Avoid screens for at least one hour before bed time
  • Chill out before bed with a book, bath, or meditation instead

Make sure the bedroom is quiet and has minimal light

  • Some light can interfere with the body’s natural clock
  • Keep the bedroom clock out of sight if your child checks the time often

Make sure your child feels safe at night

  • Avoid scary shows and games
  • Consider a night light

Follow a meal and snack routine that supports quality sleep

  • Make sure your child isn’t too hungry or too full before bed
  • Avoid caffeine (in energy drinks, tea, coffee, chocolate and cola), especially in the late afternoon and evening

Spend time outside and be active during the day

  • Natural light helps to regulate the body’s internal clock
  • Getting enough physical activity during the day supports quality sleep

Be a positive role model

  • Set a positive example with your own sleep routine