October 2, 2020

How much sleep do Elementary School children need?

Author: Mr. Ross Halliday - Elementary School Principal

What time does your child go to bed each night?

What time do they wake up in the morning?

These are common questions that we ask during our admissions process with all Elementary School families. They may seem like simple questions but they do tell us a lot about the students' routine and the energy levels they may show up to school with each day.

As parents, we are all likely aware of how much sleep our children should be getting, but does our evening and morning routine help our child/ren to actually hit these targets?

How Much Sleep To Elementary School Children Need

In the table below, the American Academy of Pediatrics outlines the recommended sleep hours for children all the way from 4 months up to 18 years, this covers the entire population of AISVN, but for this blog we are focusing specifically on the 3yrs old to 12yrs old age ranges (Elementary School);

Recommended Amount of Sleep for Pediatric Populations*


Recommended Sleep Hours per 24 Hour Period

Infants: 4 to 12 months

12 to 16 hours (including naps)

Toddlers: 1 to 2 years

11 to 14 hours (including naps)

Preschoolers: 3 to 5 years

10 to 13 hours (including naps)

Gradeschoolers: 6 to 12 years

10 to 13 hours (including naps)

Teens: 13 to 18 years

8 to 10 hours

*The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a Statement of Endorsement supporting these guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Source: Paruthi S, Brooks U, D’Ambrosio C, Hall W, Kotagal S, Lloyd RM, Malow B, Maski K, Nichos C, Quan SF, Rosen CL, Troester MM, Wise MS. Recommended Amount of Sleep for Pediatric Populations: A Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. J Cline Sleep Med. 2016 May 25. Pii: jc-00158-16. PubMed PMID: 27250809.

FIVE benefits of your child getting the right amount of sleep

*Studies have shown that kids who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have;

  1. Improved attention
  2. Improved behavior
  3. Improved learning
  4. Better memory
  5. Greater overall mental and physical health.

On the flip side, and worryingly, not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity and even depression.

*Source: John Hopkins medicine, 2018

So, what are some tips to help kids get the recommended amount of sleep?

Establishing a consistent bedtime routine (like the one outlined below) is absolutely critical, and it involves a few important parts completed in sequence. Your bedtime routine should ideally start at the same time every night.

It may also be a good idea to have a visual printed out and put up your house somewhere for children to be able to see, and they can help to tick off each part. The routine should have the purpose of “winding down” the household;

  • Stop use of electronics/screens at least an hour before bed.
  • Take a warm bath or shower.
  • Brush teeth.
  • Dim the lights.
  • Do a quiet family activity together such as reading a book.
  • If your child wakes up during the night, walk them back to their room with as little commotion as possible.
  • Set a wake up time for when the child is allowed to leave his or her room. The child can play quietly until that time if desired.

Sleep is an essential part of everyone’s routine, especially children, and also an indispensable part of a healthy lifestyle

Follow some of the above routines and practices and it will help your child to be a happy, healthy learner here at school and at home.

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