Sleep Requirements For Everyone – Except Mothers…

4 min read
Sleep Requirements For Everyone – Except Mothers…

Not everyone is lucky enough to get a good night’s sleep, especially mums, who are too busy that they are the ones last to sleep at night and the first to wake up the next day. 

So, how much sleep do we really need in a day?

The National Sleep Foundation in the US has recently released new figures on what the recommended number of hours of sleep that everyone should have.

Sleep Requirements For Everyone - Except Mothers... | Stay At Home Mum


While I run the risk of laughing out loud, the figures below are suggested sleep requirements to maintain optimum health.

“¢ Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day
“¢ Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours
“¢ Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours
“¢ Pre Schoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours
“¢ School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours
“¢ Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours
“¢ Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours
“¢ Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
“¢ Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)

So that is how many hours sleep you should have each night.

As a mother with young kids, I am wondering how many hours is recommended for me?

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After all, they are a National Sleep Foundation. Surely, they have had a chat with the Breastfeeding Association and done the math with newborns and infants and poor overworked mothers?

Laugh Till I Cry…

Newborns and infants are meant to sleep, say, 15 hours a day. Every mother wishes that this was all in one go – but alas, they feed every 3-4 hours. And this number of hours is from start of feed, to start of feed. So if you are lucky, you’ll have a quick drinker and they will be back in bed in an hour.

Many though, are much longer feeders than that and it can take up to two hours if they settle badly. Then, the baby sleeps for one sleep cycle and up again for another feed. Where the hell are they getting 15 hours from? It is not adding up. No wonder babies can be very cranky at times.

Even if Mum is sleeping when the baby sleeps then once you throw in one shower and a couple of toilet breaks a day, 7-9 hours of sleep is just a pipe dream.

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via giphy

True as they move into the infant stage many of the little tykes will hit the 15 hours asleep. That doesn’t mean that Mum gets 15 hours sleep. Just means Mum now gets to shower, buy groceries, wash clothes, talk to their partner and have a chat with friends without a crying child on their shoulder.

And if there is more than one child involved, then there are more activities to add to the list. And if you have gone back to work, you get to do everything between the hours of 6pm and 6am when it all starts again.

Sleep When You Can…

To all the mums out there, sleep when you can. If you can’t increase the quantity of sleep, then here are a few tips to improve the quality:

Sleep Requirements For Everyone - Except Mothers... | Stay At Home Mum


1. Keep electronic devices out of the bedroom.

Set up a charging station in the kitchen or lounge room and leave the phone and iPad there for the night.

2. No TV in the bedroom.

Get the temptation of watching one more episode away from the bed.

3. Keep to a routine.

Try and go to bed early when you can especially if you are expecting to be up in the middle of the night with one of the little ones.

4. Reduce your caffeine intake and other stimulants like alcohol and heavy foods in the afternoon.

This will allow your body to wind down before sleep.

5. Sleep in a dark room.

This will allow your melatonin to go to work and put you into a deep sleep for however long you can.

6. Get a power nap.

You may need a power nap that is 15-30minutes during the day to keep up with the demands of motherhood.

What are your tips on having a good night’s sleep?

Sleep Requirements for Everyone - Except Mothers | Stay At Home Mum

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Elizabeth Everett

Elizabeth is the mum of two energetic kids who uses baking as a relaxation technique. She hates cleaning but loves a clean house.

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