Families share everything. From their genes down to their sense of humor, children take their cues from their parents. But there’s one personal trait that we may not realize is affecting our families. You guessed it—our sleep habits.
In order for your household to function at its best, sleep has to become a family priority. Let’s talk about the importance of sleep for your family and discuss how you can improve it for everyone.
How much sleep should everyone be getting?
For adults, the recommended amount of nightly sleep is seven to nine hours. For children, it depends on their stage of development. Here’s a breakdown of the number of hours of sleep required per day, including naps:
Over a quarter of Americans reportedly work the night shift—a significantly higher amount than most European nations. This means it’s very likely that you or someone you know works throughout the night, catching sleep during the day when everyone else is up and at ‘em.
Nobody chooses to work nights because they hate sleeping at night when most others do, of course. People choose to work nights for a variety of important reasons: either it fits their life’s schedule, or it provides certain benefits, or because night shift work is part of the nature of their chosen profession, such as it is for first responders or those in the emergency services field.
While shift work obviously has some negative effects on your sleep, we’re not here
Any new dad will tell you that there’s nothing more magical and life-altering than the arrival of your new baby. Among the major adjustments new fathers face, the most taxing is a severe alteration to their sleep schedules.
During the first 24 months of your child’s life, you will lose an average of six months of sleep. But it’s the first three to six months that will really be grueling with your newborn waking up every two to three hours demanding to be fed or have their diaper changed. Lucky for all you zombie dads, there are some easy ways for new fathers to cope with sleep deprivation.
Between the constant feedings, dirty diapers, and that growing pile of laundry that’s threatening to establish itself as your home’s overlord, you just aren’t getting enough of that sweet (oh-so-sweet) sleep you want.
By now you’re probably rolling your tired eyes and grumbling, “Tell me something I don’t know,” but hang in there, moms and dads. We've got 5 simple strategies new parents can use to improve their sleep.
Your new baby and your sleep
First, let's take a quick look at why newborns change your sleep schedule so drastically:
- It all stems from the fact that babies have a sleep cycle that’s in overdrive. At three months, babies need a hefty 15-16 hours of sleep.
- Babies will sleep (an often sporadic) 10 hours at night and 5 hours during the day napping.
- Plus, th