How much sleep do you really need?
As a new parent, trying to figure out how much sleep your household needs can feel like a fruitless endeavor-because let’s be real, you are likely no-where near that number.
But even if you’re in the trenches of sleep deprivation, it is helpful to know that sleep requirements do vary for each person based on a few factors. And although you might be skating by on little sleep now, it is so vital to your overall health to try and meet these guidelines-even if it means fitting in extra sleep when possible.
The National Sleep Foundation provides recommendations that can help guide you in the right direction when it comes to different ages and stages of sleep.
Here’s a simple breakdown you can follow that provides a range of hours recommended by age ranges; making it easy for your entire family to follow.
Sleep Needs by Age:
Newborn to 3 months old
Even though it might not seem like it, newborns actually spend most of their day sleeping. Their sleep cycles are much shorter than adults and much more active. It is common for newborns to wake up often during sleep cycles (especially at night) and sleep for periods of just a few minutes or a few hours.
Infants 4-11 months
9-12 hours at night + 1-2.5 hours during the day
During this stage, babies likely won’t need to feed as often throughout the night, and will have longer stretches of sleep both during the day and at night. Around 4 months, your child will start to develop her natural sleep-wake rhythm and so routine and consistency become more important.
Toddlers 1-3 years
9-11 hours at night + 1-2.5 hours during the day
It is no surprise that Toddlers are very active, so getting adequate sleep at night and during the day is really important! Your Toddler should be on one nap by 18 months and routine is key during this time. Toddlers will have an easier time with sleep adjustments and transitions when they have a sense of what is coming next and so providing that through consistency will be really helpful.
School aged Children 4+
10-13 hours at night
Once children are in school, they can become more emotionally and physically tired and since their nap usually drops off around 4/5, it is important they are getting adequate night-time sleep. Maintaining a regular bedtime and encouraging healthy sleep habits, such as no screen time before bed, are helpful in making sleep as a priority.
7-9 hours at night
Yes, even you need your sleep! Although we are super-heroes most days, we still need our sleep. Adults should have a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night in order to feel rested and restored. Sleep is considered the foundation of health, and the negative effects of sleep deprivation are too many to list-so try to make sleep a priority.
I promise your body and your mind will love you for it and you’ll feel like an even more awesome Mama!