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  • Benefits of sleep/side effects of not enough sleep
  • How much sleep children should be getting by age
  • Cultural differences in sleep?
  • Phases of sleep?

Sleep is an essential part of our lives and sleeping well is necessary for the rejuvenation of our bodies and our minds.

Lack of sleep can contribute to increased behaviour difficulties, reduced concentration, and irritability.

But it can also have a significant impact on the rest of the family’s health and relationships, stress levels and general ability to cope with day to day life.

Sleep is a basic need for everyone. It plays such an important role in helping our brains and bodies recover from everything we did that day.

Sleep is especially important for children and young people because it helps with mental, physical, social and emotional development.

Sleep helps our brains to remember, memorise and analyse important information. These skills improve performance at school.

Sleep can also affect our mood. If we don’t sleep enough we can get grumpier and react to things more than we normally would. Over a long period of time, not sleeping enough can cause mental health problems like anxiety and low mood.

Even our immune systems can be affected if we don’t have enough sleep. Our immune systems help us fight off illnesses.

There is no ‘magic number’ for the amount of hours we should sleep each night or throughout our lives, as the amount of sleep we require changes. Many people tend to follow the typical sleep requirements but some people may need more or less sleep than the average. The graph below shows the average hours of sleep children need by age. 

Average Sleep Needs Graph

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