When children and adults get sufficient restful sleep at night, they are also better able to make healthy choices during the day. Healthy sleep patterns can promote a positive mood, body image and overall health. Healthy sleep patterns can also help to improve grades, sports performance, concentration for driving, as well as the ability to handle stress and avoid injury.
Adults need 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep, children ages 5-13 years need 9-11 hours and adolescents aged 14 -17 years need 8-10 hours of sleep each night, with consistent bedtime and wake-up times.
Research has shown that when children don’t get enough sleep they have less
desirable health behaviours, including lower physical activity levels during the day and poorer diet quality. Sleep patterns (bedtime and wake-up times) also appear to influence children’s daytime activity patterns. Children who go to bed early and wake up early tend to be more physically active and accumulate less screen time than children who go to bed late and wake up late in spite of similar total sleep times.
Read on for tips on sleeping well.
There is solid evidence that using screens an hour before bedroom interferes with the quality of sleep for both adults and kids. The blue light from TV, computers, smartphones and tablets interferes with the production of the hormone melatonin that promotes restful sleep. Using recreational screens excessively also reduces time available for kids to interact with others and participate in active recreation.