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Sleep Tips

Don’t let your kids be like Sherman the Sloth. Kids need good sleep in order to be their best. 

Children’s Mercy wants to make sure your kids are getting enough sleep. A lack of sleep can leave kids feeling cranky, clumsy, forgetful, sluggish, or even hyperactive.

Why sleep is important for kids


  • Helps them feel prepared for the next day

  • Helps their tissues, muscles and bones grow

  • Helps keep their immune systems healthy (which helps to fight illness)

  • Allows their brains to sort and store information

  • Makes it easier for them to think, focus, remember and solve problems

  • Restores their energy to be active during the day 

Sleep tips


  • Allow time for plenty of exercise during the daytime – at least one hour of physical activity a day

  • Limit evening activities and allow time for a relaxing bedtime routine

  • Encourage kids to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day

  • Avoid caffeinated drinks, especially after 2 p.m.

  • Create a quiet, dark and comfortable environment

  • Turn off television, video games, cell phones and other screens at least 1-2 hours before bedtime

Sleep recommendations by age

  • 3-5 year olds need 11-13 hours of sleep

  • 5-12 year olds need 10-11 hours of sleep

  • 13-17 year olds need 9-10 hours of sleep