A mother in Hong Kong is wondering what she could do to get her child tofall asleep earlier: My Year Six daughter has always been a night owl and always seemed to manage on very little sleep. Her teacher recently said she seemed to be tired in class and was finding it hard to concentrate. Although we send her to bed at a reasonable time, she rarely falls asleep before 11pm. What can I do to help her? There is no magic number for the hours of sleep a person needs in order to function in a rational and productive way. Some people naturally need more sleep than others, and alternatively we hear of high-functioning adults in responsible jobs who famously survive on as little as four hours a night. However, research clearly tells us that getting a sufficient amount of sleep is vital for good health and well-being. Children, in particular, require enough sleep to grow and develop, and to enable them to perform to their full potential. A good nights sleep leaves them feeling refreshed and alert for the day ahead, ready to concentrate and engage fully in school and social activities. The general recommendation for a child of your daughters age is between 9.5 and 10 hours of sleep each night. Although she has managed on less in the past, she is now at the age where her body is changing and hormones are kicking in, and a lack of sleep may be taking its toll.
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