The importance of sleep; a short guide


Sleep is important for everyone – we spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping – but there are differences between our needs based on if we are babies, children or adults. The amount of time we spend in light and deep sleep varies depending on age.

A lot happens in our bodies and brains while we sleep. Babies and children spend so much time sleeping because their bodies and brains have a lot of growing to do while they sleep, and when it’s dark, children’s bodies produce a growth hormone. Researchers believe too little sleep can affect growth and the immune system. Studies also show that kids who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behaviour, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health.

Sleep consists of ‘light sleep’ also known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, and ‘deep sleep’, also called Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep. Babies are biologically programmed to sleep more lightly and wake more often than adults. Cycles of deep and light sleep last 30-50 minutes in babies, then gradually increase in length across childhood. In adolescence and during the adult years, each cycle of deep and light sleep lasts about 90 minutes.

Sleep is important for everyone, but especially so for babies and children. It’s an essential part of everyone’s routine and an indispensable part of a healthy lifestyle.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:


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