The importance of sleep for young learners

Good night

Making sure your young child gets the right amount of sleep is the number one way parents can help them develop.

With today’s fast-paced lifestyle this can be difficult so why is it so important to make sure your child gets enough?

Our Early Years experts share some top tips. 


  • helps children grow as these sleep hormones are mostly released during deep sleep.
  • helps children to be stronger at fighting sickness and recover from illness more quickly.
  • reduces the risk of injury as sleepy children are more likely to have accidents and make dangerous decisions.
  • increases children’s attention span; when you’re feeling fresh you can concentrate better.
  • helps learning as children who have had the right amount of sleep have a better working memory to remember and retain knowledge.


Experts recommend:

  • Age 1-3: 12-14 hours sleep a day
  • Age 3-5: 11-13 hours sleep a day
Sleep in Early Years
Sleep in EY


Whilst not always easy, the suggestions below are what experts say you should do to help your young child get a good night’s sleep (and there’s some for parents too!).

  • Keep a consistent daily bedtime routine that ends in the room where the child sleeps.
  • Encourage the use of a blanket or cuddly toy, if your child prefers one.
  • Make sure your child’s bedroom is cool, quiet and dark.
  • Try to keep a regular place where your child sleeps.
  • If your child gets up during the night, calmly and peacefully take them back to their bed.
  • Talk to older children about why good sleep habits are so important.
  • Keep TVs, computers, iPads and other devices out of the bedroom.
  • Avoid giving your child any chocolate or chocolate drinks before bed as they contain caffeine…
  • Following these tips should help your child develop more successfully, be happier and healthier, more able to study well and set them up with healthy lifelong habits. 
Get in touch with Harrow

These development tips are taken from a recent Parent Workshop run by Kate Umpleby and Alex Costa.