Sleep Strategies

How much sleep does your child need?


2 years: between 10-12 hours per night with one day time nap

5 years: 10-12 hours, no daytime nap

8 years: 10-11 hours per night

12 years: 9-10 hours per night

Teens: 8-10 hours per night


Useful strategies


Make sure the bedroom is the right temperature, is quiet and is a restful environment

Get your child into a good bedtime routine at an early age and stick to it

If you child is struggling with his / her sleep patterns keep a sleep diary (can be downloaded from internet)

for at least two weeks to look identify common links

No caffeine-based drinks such as hot chocolate, coca cola etc after 6 pm – also avoid chocolate, sweets and

sugary drinks

Make sure there is a wind down period of at least an hour before your child goes to bed – this should be

screen free time so no TV, computers, phone etc

A warm bath and a milky drink can help your child relax before bedtime

Avoid talking about any issues of concern with your child in the evening as this may increase their anxiety


Avoid using the bedroom as a punishment zone – keep it as a happy place

If your child lies awake for a long period before they fall asleep try putting them to bed at the actual time they

are falling asleep – do this for five nights and then gradually bring the time forward until they are falling asleep

at their normal bedtime

Make sure if your child is struggling to sleep at night that they don’t nap during the day – wake them in the

morning at the normal time

Encourage daytime exercise and outdoor play

Always make sure your child uses the toilet last thing before sleep

For a child experiencing night tremors always offer calm reassurance – they are unlikely to remember the

following day. Children normally grow out of these around the age of 8 years. Sometimes waking a child in

the early part of the night will adjust their sleep levels and prevent night terrors from occurring.