For Parents and Guardians: Healthy Weight for Healthy Kids and Teens

7.5 Getting Enough Sleep

It is important that your child/teen gets enough sleep.  If your child/teen does not  get adequate sleep they are likely to gain extra weight.  Not getting enough sleep can negatively affect their hormones, hormones that control blood sugar and appetite. This may lead to high blood sugar, trouble managing blood sugar and an increased appetite.

The sleep foundation recommends:


Recommended (Hours of Sleep Per Night) Appropriate (Hours of Sleep Per Night)
Preschoolers (3-5 years old) 10-13 8-14
School Aged (6-13 years old) 9-11 7-12
Teens (14-17 years old) 8-10 7-11


Here are a few suggestions for improving your child/teen’s sleep:

  1. Have a nightly routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  2. Have a regular wake-up time, even on weekends.
  3. Don’t use the child’s bedroom for timeouts or punishment.
  4. Use the hour before bed for quiet time. Avoid strenuous exercise and bright artificial light, such as from a TV or computer screen. The light may signal the brain that it’s time to be awake.
  5. Avoid heavy and/or large meals before bed, having a light snack is okay.
  6. Encourage them to be physically outdoors, when possible.   
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