If the answer is no, then it may be safe to say that you aren’t getting the sleep you need either! Sleep deprivation has been successfully used as a method of torture through the ages.
While in the throws of adjusting to life with a newborn, there is a certain amount of sleep deprivation that we certainly expect as normal – it kinda goes with the territory. Awash with all the crazy hormone changes and a heart bursting with love and wonder at the sheer miracle in your arms – those feelings of elation can only carry you for so long before a sense of despair can set in when your sleep is continuously compromised.
Having a support network to help you through this critical stage of life is essential.
For some, that may be a mom or a mom-in-law, a night nurse, a confinement nanny, a super supportive husband, and even a helper.
It would be impossible to know if your baby or child is getting enough sleep, if you don’t know how much sleep they need and should be getting based on their age. See the chart below from the National Sleep Foundation.
Recommended Total Sleep
Range of Normal
0 – 3 months
14 – 17 hours
(in 24 hours)
11 – 19 hours
4 – 11 months
12 – 15 hours (in 24 hours)
10 – 18 hours
1 – 2 years
11 – 14 hours (in 24 hours)
9 – 16 hours
3 – 5 years
10 – 13 hours
8 – 14 hours
6 – 13 years
9 – 11 hours
7 – 13 hours
14 – 17 years
8 – 10 hours
7 – 11 hours
18 – 25 years
7 – 9 hours
6 – 11 hours
26 – 46 years
7 – 9 hours
6 – 10 hours
65 years +
7 – 8 hours
5 – 9 hours
** For babies from birth to approximately 3 years old, the total requirement for sleep is within a 24 hour period and therefore includes naps.**
From research that has been conducted over the years, there is a range of normal – where some individuals will fall above, or below the average recommended requirements. Any less than the bare minimum or any more than the highest side of the scale would be cause for concern and should be investigated to rule out any sleep disorders or other factors possibly contributing to poor sleep.
The good news about baby’s sleep is that by around 6 months of age, night sleep should be consolidating into roughly 11 hour stretches of uninterrupted sleep. While that is a wonderful milestone to achieve – it is not the primary goal when it comes to sleep. So if your baby is over 6 months of age and they’re keeping you up at night – there could be a number of reasons contributing to poor sleep.
Why is getting enough sleep so important?
Sleep is such a wonderful thing that keeps us alive and our bodies and brains in good working order. So much happens neurologically, physiologically and developmentally while we are asleep that cannot happen in our awake hours. Our immune systems cannot function properly and restore itself without long stretches of deep restorative sleep.
Timings of daytime naps for babies and children will vary based on their age and how much awake time they can sustain before needing their next nap. When babies are pushed beyond their capacity of awake time, increased levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) make falling asleep harder – so ideally understanding that babies need to be tired enough, but not too tired is half the battle won in combatting the dreaded over tiredness.
From a brain chemistry point of view, a lack of regularly timed sleep can also have a detrimental affect on being able to fall asleep and in fact, stay asleep. Not having a consistent sleep schedule can lend itself towards a constant state of jet lag which leaves one feeling tired and groggy and not firing on all cylinders. For babies this is really a big challenge too as it adds to their frustration and crankiness.
If you are struggling with your little one’s sleep schedules or if you are concerned that they’re not getting enough sleep – I’m here to help you get on track with age appropriate timings that could make all the difference in getting enough sleep.
Also remember that sleep begets sleep and the better babies sleep during the day, the better they sleep at night and so the cycle continues. The same is true for poor sleep.
Well rested families are certainly happier families and my goal is to help you take control of and manage this significant part of your family’s daily lives.
Start by booking a FREE 15 minute Discovery Call to find out more about how I can help you.