4 Benefits of Sports for Children's Sleep

The benefits of sports for children's sleep are one of the main reasons why children should exercise. Keep reading to learn more!
4 Benefits of Sports for Children's Sleep
Andrés Felipe Cardona Lenis

Reviewed and approved by degree in physical education and sports Andrés Felipe Cardona Lenis.

Last update: 17 February, 2023

The benefits of sports on children’s sleep are more relevant than you think. It’s not only about motivating your children to do some activity in order to expend energy but also contributing to their overall health.

Despite believing that poor sleep and associated sleep disorders are only present in adults, children can also suffer from them. Therefore, the objective of promoting children’s sports goes far beyond entertainment. We invite you to know some benefits of sports when it comes to children’s sleep.

The benefits of sports regarding children’s sleep

The practice of sports is responsible for providing various benefits related to health, and the hours children spend sleeping are also often favored.

With respect to your children, the goal is focused on carrying out a sport that they’re passionate about and enjoying it on a regular basis. At the same time, a study conducted by the San Buenaventura University in Medellin, Columbia shows the benefits of physical activity linked to school performance. In the following paragraphs, we’ll share with you some of the benefits of sports for children’s sleep.

Children playing basketball.
It’s essential for children to play a sport they like and that they choose it themselves. This way, they’ll have fun, be more tired at the end of the day, and have a restful and pleasant sleep.

1. Sports improve the quality of sleep

When children exercise, their muscles are supplied with oxygenated blood. This causes a greater feeling of relaxation and less muscle tension, especially at night.

Moreover, some organs, such as the brain, are also benefited thanks to the amount of oxygen they receive, which allows the production and release of hormones related to happiness, such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

2. Sports increase the amount of sleep

One of the recommendations to safeguard the general health of the body is to sleep between 7 and 8 hours every night. In the case of children, this parameter is governed according to age and is a much more relevant guide, as they’re in the midst of their physical and psychological development.

When returning from sports practice, the child will feel tired. This will make them fall asleep more quickly and they’ll need more hours for their body to recover.

3. Sports help prevent or treat insomnia

Children can also suffer the consequences linked to sleep disorders, such as anxiety problems and insomnia. Fortunately, practicing a sport helps to treat these symptoms. In most cases, physical fatigue demands more rest, which helps to fall asleep.

However, if your children have marked symptoms related to insomnia or anxiety, it’s best to consult a specialized doctor.

A child sleeping on the couch in his soccer jersey while holding a soccer ball.
If the sleep disorders suffered by the child continue despite participation in sports, it’s best to consult a medical specialist.

4. Sports decrease the harmful effects linked to sleep

One of the main enemies of health is a sedentary lifestyle. But what does it have to do with children’s sleep? This problem stands out as a harmful factor for general well-being and increases the risk of suffering from some non-communicable diseases, such as obesity.

Issues linked to obesity, overweight, and hypertension can alter the hours of rest. These types of diseases cause a lack of energy, poor circulation. and other negative health consequences. Based on the above, sports in children counteract the effects of these diseases, while sleep improves in quality and quantity gradually.

Help your child to get the benefits of sports for sleep

Apart from practicing sports regularly, children also need constant help. At this point, you should intervene and look for tools to increase the quantity and quality of their sleep.

For example, you can talk to your child and rearrange bedtimes. When that time comes, the child should be in bed and without the use of any electronic device.

Regarding sports, it’s also important that your children focus on a healthy practice that they can really enjoy and that they don’t feel obliged to do it. The happier the child is perceived to be in relation to their environment and the sport they practice, the more likely they are to have quality sleep.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Martínez Sabater, A., Martínez Puig, C., Marzà Gascón, A., Escrivá Aznar, G., Blasco Roque, M., & LLorca, J. (2012). Hábitos de sueño de la población infantil del Grau de Gandía: Un estudio descriptivo. Enfermería Global. https://doi.org/10.4321/s1695-61412012000300008
  • López Sánchez, G. F., López Sánchez, L., & Díaz Suárez, A. (2016). Efectos de un programa de actividad física en la calidad del sueño de escolares con TDAH. SPORT TK-Revista EuroAmericana de Ciencias Del Deporte. https://doi.org/10.6018/249071

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.