Every creature needs to rest. Giraffes, little babies, elephants, dogs, cats, kids, koala bears, grandparents, moms, dads, and hippos in the jungle — they all sleep! Just like eating, sleep is necessary for survival.
Sleep gives your body a rest and allows it to prepare for the next day. It's like giving your body a mini-vacation. Sleep also gives your brain a chance to sort things out. Scientists aren't exactly sure what kinds of organizing your brain does while you sleep, but they think that sleep might be the time when the brain sorts and stores information, replaces chemicals, and solves problems.
The amount of sleep a person needs depends a lot on his or her age. Babies sleep a lot — about 14 to 15 hours a day! But many older people only need about 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night. Most kids between the ages of 5 and 12 years old are somewhere in between, needing 10 to 11 hours of sleep. Some kids might need more and some need less. It depends on the kid.
Did you know:
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2011
|American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) AASM strives to increase awareness of sleep disorders in public and professional communities.|
|National Sleep Foundation (NSF) NSF is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health and safety by achieving understanding of sleep and sleep disorders, and by supporting education, sleep-related research, and advocacy.|
|What Sleep Is and Why All Kids Need It When you get a good night's sleep, it's like giving your body a tiny vacation. Find out the scoop on sleep in this article for kids.|
|What Kids Say About: Sleep They always say kids won't go to bed, but most kids told us they would love to get more sleep. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Why Do I Yawn? If you yawn in class, you'll probably notice a few other people will start yawning, too. Why is that?|
|What to Do if You Can't Sleep Are you having trouble sleeping? Find out how to get your ZZZZZs.|
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