Why Do We Need Sleep?

What do foxes, goldfish, elephants your best friend and your parents have in common? They all need sleep to survive! Sleep gives your body and brain a chance to rest and repair after a busy day. If you think about how much you have to do in a day from getting up and going to school to going into bed, it's no wonder you run out of energy.

You might think that not much is happening when you are asleep but apart from resting, your body and brain are busy with a number of other functions such as replacing lost chemicals, fighting illnesses and - if you're a baby or child - you'll also be growing. This is why babies and children need more sleep than adults. In fact babies need about 15 hours sleep every day, while adults only need 7 to 8 hours.

Kids like you need about 9 to 10 hours of sleep every night, but many of you aren't getting enough.

What happens if you don’t get enough sleep?

If you don’t get enough sleep you'll feel tired and find it hard to get up for school. You might feel very grumpy or get upset easily. You'll also find it harder to concentrate in your lessons or solve problems and may feel clumsy or slow during games. Not getting enough sleep can also mean you are more likely to get illnesses.

So how can you make sure you get enough sleep?

Set a Bed Time

Going to bed at the same time every evening helps set your body clock and makes it easier to drift off to sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

Have a Bed Time Routine

Having a relaxing bed time routine can help prepare your body to slow down and go to sleep. You could take a warm bath, or read a book or listen to relaxing music.

Keep TVs and Computers Out of Your Bedroom

Did you know the light from the TV and computer screens can stimulate your brain and make it harder for you to sleep? Watching TV or using computers or lap tops are a main cause of kids not getting enough sleep so switch off earlier!

Don’t eat chocolate or drink coke before bed.

Chocolate and coke contain a chemical called caffeine which makes you feel awake, making it harder for you to sleep.

Talk about Your Worries

If you are worried about anything you may find it harder to get to sleep or you might even have bad dreams. The best thing to do is speak to someone like your parents about it. You might find just talking about it makes you feel better and can help you get a good night's sleep.

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