It’s a fact: kids who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight.

Quick tip: How much sleep is really enough?

  • Toddlers (1-3 years) - 12-14 hours
  • Preschoolers (3-5 years) - 11-13 hours
  • School-age (5-10 years) - 10-11 hours
  • Adolescents (10-17 years) - 8.5-9.25 hours
  • Adults (18+ years) - 7-9 hours

Getting enough sleep is good for your health in many ways

  • People who get enough sleep are less likely to be overweight.
  • Getting enough sleep improves mood and energy. Feeling more energetic can make it easier to practice healthy habits like getting exercise.
  • People who get enough sleep find it easier to concentrate during the day. Being able to focus better can improve performance at school and work.
  • Going to bed earlier means less snacking during the evening hours.

Practical tips for getting enough sleep

Create a bedtime routine

  • By keeping a consistent sleep schedule, people naturally feel sleepy at the right time.
  • Calming bedtime rituals such as baths and reading can help prepare the mind for sleep.
  • Put babies and children to bed when they are visibly tired but not yet asleep, so they learn to fall and stay asleep on their own.

Plan ahead

  • Start bedtime rituals earlier than you think you need to, they often take longer than you expect.
  • Plan activities such as movies and social events earlier in the evening.

If falling asleep is a problem

  • Avoid caffeinated beverages in the afternoon or evening.
  • Exercise every day, but avoid doing so before bed as this can make it harder to sleep.

Why is being overweight a problem?

Being overweight causes health problems that can affect nearly every organ system in the body.

Brain and nerves

  • Headaches
  • Risk of stroke


  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure

Stomach and intestines

  • Hepatitis
  • Liver fibrosis
  • Gallstones
  • Risk of colon cancer

Bones and muscles

  • Back pain
  • Arthritis
  • Fractures
  • Bow leg
  • Hip problems


  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression


  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Difficulty exercising


  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Early puberty
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Fertility problems


  • Kidney disease
  • Hernia
  • Cancer
  • Blood clots

Did you know...?

Screen time before bed makes it harder to fall asleep.

  • Do not keep a TV in the bedroom.
  • Avoid TV or computer use for at least one hour before bedtime. Read or do something else calming instead.
  • Avoid going to sleep at night with the TV on; once you get used to it, you will sleep better and longer.
  • Turn cell phones off at night or keep them out of earshot

Getting enough sleep is just one of many simple steps you and your family can take on the journey to better health.