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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Sleep advice for children

Āwhinatanga moenga mō ngā tamariki

Getting enough good sleep is important for tamariki (children) as poor sleep can affect their behaviour, learning, health, wellbeing and weight.

The younger your tamaiti (child) is, the more sleep they need. It’s normal for tamariki to have daytime naps until they're 3 to 5 years old.

The following table is a guide to the amount of sleep most tamariki need per day:





Recommended hours of sleep per day

1 to 2 years

11 to 14

3 to 5 years

10 to 13

5 years


7 years

10 ½

11 years

9 ½

To help with getting to sleep, make sure they have a regular bedtime and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Stick to the same bedtime routine every night, including quiet activities such as a bedtime story.

Keep screens like gaming consoles, computers (including tablets), mobile phones and TVs out of their room. Using screens before bedtime can make it harder for them to get to sleep.

You can manage most sleep issues by creating good sleep habits. KidsHealth has a lot of good advice on how to do this for a variety of sleep problems.

If your tamaiti snores or has noisy breathing, ask your general practice team to check them.

Melatonin may be an option for some tamariki with sleep problems who aren't improving with good sleep habits.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed October 2022.


Page reference: 203515

Review key: HISLE-11928