Why Kids Need A Lot of Sleep | Sanford Fit

Lesson

Why Kids Need A Lot of Sleep

Help kids explore how much sleep different animals need and then help them compare that to how much sleep humans need.

Objectives

  • Recall that children need 9-12 hours of sleep each night.

Info to Know

The lessons in this unit teach kids that recharge is all about energy—and that your energy is a key influencer of healthy choices. You recharge your energy two ways:

  1. Relax and do a quiet activity without screen time such as mindful activities, drawing, writing, reading, or doing puzzles. 
  2. Sleep 9–12 hours each night to restore energy.*

*Following are the minimum and maximum hours of sleep for different age groups as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Ages 4-12 months: 12-16 hours (including naps)
  • Ages 1-2 years: 11-14 hours (including naps)
  • Ages 3-5 years: 10-13 hours (including naps)
  • Age 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
  • Age 13-18 years: 8-10 hours

     

Set The Stage

Ask students, “Why do you think people and animals need to sleep? What do the places where animals and people sleep look like?” This will give kids the opportunity to talk about everything they already know about sleep—which is a lot!

To use this with your students click here.

Captivate

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

Ask students to predict the amount of sleep different animals need to recharge their energy.

  • A giraffe only sleeps about two hours.
  • A brown bat sleeps nearly 20 hours.
  • Rabbits sleep 11–12 hours.
  • Children between the ages of 6 and 12 need 9–12 hours of sleep each night.

Educate

What Does Sleep Do For the Body?

Highlight the key points about sleep:

  • Your body and brain need 9–12 hours of sleep every night to restore energy, which helps you make healthy choices.*
  • Sleep gives you energy to play and have fun.
  • Sleep helps you recall what you have learned.
  • Sleep helps your body and brain grow.

Check for understanding: How many hours of sleep do you need to get a full recharge?

*Following are the minimum and maximum hours of sleep for different age groups as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Ages 4-12 months: 12-16 hours (including naps)
  • Ages 1-2 years: 11-14 hours (including naps)
  • Ages 3-5 years: 10-13 hours (including naps)
  • Age 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
  • Age 13-18 years: 8-10 hours

Activate

How Can You Get Enough Sleep?

Calculate the time students need to go to bed to get the 9–12 hours of sleep they need. For those students who find falling asleep difficult, practice the “I Can’t Sleep” activity from the slideshow.  Encourage students to try the same activity at home when they need help falling asleep.

Close the Lesson

What time will you go to bed tonight so your body gets the sleep it needs?

Teacher note: Help kids learn about healthy sleep habits by reading books from the Top 10 Children's Books to Encourage Healthy Bedtime Routines.

Grade: 3-5

Time: 20 Minutes

What You'll Need

Resources

Materials
  • Slideshow
  • Poster Board or White Board
  • Markers

Health Education Standards

  • Standard 1: Core Concepts–Get an appropriate amount of sleep and rest.
  • Standard 4: Interpersonal Communication
  • Standard 5: Decision-Making

 

Social and Emotional Learning Competencies

  • Responsible Decision-Making

Extend the Lesson

View the fit Units and Lessons Scope and Sequence Chart.

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