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: Skipping 1 night's sleep makes a person cranky and clumsy. After missing 2 nights of sleep, a person will have problems thinking and doing things; his or her brain and body can't do their normal tasks nearly as well. After 5 nights without sleep, a person will hallucinate (this means seeing things that aren't actually there). Eventually, it becomes impossible for the brain to give its directions to the rest of the body without sleep — the brain needs to spend time in bed and catch its ZZZs! Back to Articles Related Articles Sleepwalking Have you ever walked in your sleep? If so, you're not alone. Check out this article to find out more. Read More Why Do I Yawn? If you yawn in class, you'll probably notice a few other people will start yawning, too. Why is that? Read More Time for Bed? Hey, wake up and play our game about sleep! Find out who needs more sleep - you or some of your favorite animals! Read More What to Do if You Can't Sleep Are you having trouble sleeping? Find out how to get your ZZZZZs. Read More 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. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.