How Much Sleep Does My Child Really Need?



Go to bed! Wake-up! These phrases are used daily in every household that has kids. We worry that our kids don’t get enough sleep, so we rush them to bed to get a good night's rest. In the morning, we rush them to wake up and worry when they sleep past 11:00 am. Now, I’m no expert when it comes to sleep so I decided to seek out some extra help in this quest for newfound knowledge. In this blog, we are going to find out once and for all how much sleep our children really need.

First off, let's touch on the benefits of sleeping for athletes. I find that if I present a good argument to my kids, they tend to be more receptive, especially if I start it off with “as an athlete." If you arm yourself with data that makes sense, kids will often listen.

A good night's rest will help with:

• Speed and accuracy.
• Reaction time.
• Helps repair the body after strenuous workouts (without enough sleep the body does not have enough time to heal itself which in return will effect your performance.
• Sleep helps slow the body’s systems down to re-energize us for the next days' activities and workouts.
• Deep sleep helps athletic performance due to a growth hormone that is released while we sleep. The growth hormone stimulates the growth of your muscles, building of your bones, helps with fat burning, and repairs to the body.

Now that you are armed with a few solid points as to why your child should get a good night's rest, let's see how much they actually need. According to the research that I’ve come across from the Canadian Pediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics, here are some sleep guidelines.

Toddlers ages 1-2 require 11-14 hours per night
Pre-schooler’s ages 3-5 require 10-13 hours
Early school years ages 6-12 require 9-12 hours
Teens ages 13-17 require 8-10 hours

Well there you have it. Now how do you accomplish it?

Easy! Make them a part of the process and make them accountable for their own fitness journey. As parents, we do our part by providing them the opportunity to play or participate. We pay for it, we drive them back and fourth at all hours, we take off work for tournaments, we lose our social lives to become their personal cheerleaders, and we arm ourselves with knowledge to help our children propel to the next level. Sleep, well that’s up to them! We have a saying at H2T that we live by: “What you put in is what you get out. You treat your body right and it will perform for you!

Wishing you and your family restful sleeps and sweet dreams.  

From our family at H2T to yours, we wish you all a Healthy and Happy Holiday season!

About the Author: Sue Forberg is the Director at H2T Elite Dryland Training Inc. H2T is a multi-faceted state of the art dryland facility specializing in children the ages 5-16. A gym for kids you say... absolutely. Their primary goal is to enhance the quality of life for young people through exercise and proper nutrition. H2T has created a fun age appropriate dryland program that gives every child what he/she needs from a developmental standpoint. Find out more at www.H2Tdryland.com.

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