Sleep During Illness: Increased

Why is my child sleeping so much?

Most children are less active and sleep several extra hours a day when they are sick with any infectious illness. Sleep helps them fight the illness and speeds recovery. As long as your child is alert when awake, increased sleep is not very useful in judging the seriousness of the illness.

How can I take care of my child?

No special treatment is needed. See other guidelines on the disease causing the sleepiness.

When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?


  • Your child is drowsy or confused when awake (rather than alert and thinking clearly).
  • Your child is acting very sick.

Call during office hours if:

  • The increased sleeping and tiredness last for more than 1 week.
  • You have other concerns or questions.
Written by Barton D. Schmitt, MD, author of “My Child Is Sick,” American Academy of Pediatrics Books.
Pediatric Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-06-10
Last reviewed: 2014-06-10
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 Barton D. Schmitt, MD. All rights reserved.

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