Is my child getting enough sleep?

A good night's sleep:

  • Can reduce problems with behaviour
  • Can help your child learn
  • Can improve your child's mental health
  • Can reduce the risk of obesity
  • Contributes to optimal growth and development
How much sleep does my child need?

According to the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth:

  • Children 3-4 years old need 10 to 13 hours of good quality sleep per day with naps.
  • Children 5-13 years old need 9 to 11 hours of quality uninterrupted sleep each night.

The amount of sleep your child needs changes as they get older. Remember, each child is different.


Your child may not be getting enough sleep if they:

  • Have a hard time waking up in the morning
  • Act moody and often have meltdowns
  • Have dark circles under their eyes
  • Show signs of poor focus or memory
  • Complain of being tired or not getting enough sleep


How can I help my child get a good night sleep?
  • Encourage regular exercise and outdoor activities
  • Stick to a healthy diet
  • Offer a healthy snack a half hour before bedtime
  • Create a quiet, predictable and short - 30 minutes - bedtime routine
  • Avoid TV, other electronics and stimulating activities for at least one hour before bed
  • Ensure a quiet dark environment for sleep
  • Avoid using bedtime as a punishment
  • Help your child to have a consisten bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends.
Did you know?
  • Poor sleep can have a negative effect on how your child's brain develops
  • Poor sleep can increase your child's risk of accidental injury
  • Electronics before bedtime can cause stress to the body, making it hard for your child to fall asleep

Learn more about the following bedtime challenges:

Do you have more questions about parenting?

  • Connect with a registered nurse from Health811 for free, secure, and confidential health advice. Service is available 24/7 in English and French, with translation support also offered in other languages. Call 8-1-1 or visit
  • Connect with a Community Navigator from 2-1-1 for information about community programs and resources across Eastern Ontario. Helpline service is available 24/7 and in many different languages. Call 2-1-1 or visit
  • Connect with other parents on the Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page.
  • There are a variety of services to make it easier for your child to grow up healthy in Ottawa.
  • You can update your child's immunization record using either the CANImmunize App or the Immunization Connect Ontario (ICON) Tool
  • If you have received a message from Ottawa Public Health such as a letter or a call regarding immunization, an infectious disease, or infection control lapse, please call 613-580-6744 and listen to the menu options carefully.

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