The Power of Sleep

Our family just returned from our first trip to Disney World.  As I had expected, it was magical.  The look on the kids’ faces when they met their favorite characters was priceless.  They loved the rides, the Castle, the Mickey shaped waffles for breakfast, the list could go on and on.

There was one problem with the trip, however — sleep deprivation!  On our first night, we stayed up really late.  First there was dinner with the Princesses, then a Christmas parade, and then their first ever fireworks.  Our kids who usually go to bed at 7:30 hit the hay after 10:00.  And, they never really recovered for the rest of the trip.  I have written before about failure of the frontal lobe — the problem on this trip was that it set in at about 10 AM each day instead of 6 PM.  For our 5-year old, this meant behavior approximating “Grumpy” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.  Our 3-year old was as clumsy as “Goofy.”  They were quite a sight!

This experience inspired me to post about sleep this week.  Today, I want to share a chart from my friend Jodi Mindell’s book, “Sleeping Through the Night” (see my Favorite Things  page for details).  Here, by age, is how much sleep little ones need each night:

2 months to 12 months – 14 to 15 hours

12 months to 3 years – 12 to 14 hours

3 years to 6 years – 11 to 13 hours

Are your kids getting enough? 

Tune in tomorrow for tips on how to make sure your little ones get enough sleep…including how to balance vacation fun with sleep needs!

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