Bright eyed and bushy tailed

If you have children at home, you know that each morning before school begins, your child will wake up in one of two moods; happy – looking “bright eyed and bushy tailed” or grumpy – still tired and resistant to start the day. While we, as adults, don’t always wake up ready to conquer the day, we owe it to ourselves and our children to get the right amount of sleep.

The amount of sleep we receive, contributes to our over-all health and well-being. If you or your child are feeling sluggish or extremely happy, consider using the National Sleep Foundation Sleep Diary to analyze what might be contributing to positive or negative moods. A helpful tool can be found at sleepfoundation.org/sleep-diary/SleepDiaryv6.pdf

The following are recommendations for the amounts of sleep needed each day by age range:

Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range of 14-17 hours

Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range of 12-15 hours

Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range of 11-14 hours

Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range of 10-13 hours

School age children (6-13): Sleep range of 9-11 hours

Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range of 8-10 hours

Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range of 7-9 hours

Adults (26-64): Sleep range of 7-9 hours

Older adults (65+): Sleep range of 7-8 hours

The National Sleep Foundation also offers helpful ideas for obtaining a better night’s sleep. Consider stick to a sleep schedule or bedtime routine, even on weekends or practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. Other options include exercising daily, ensuring your bedroom has ideal temperature, sound and light. Beware of hidden sleep stealers, like caffeine and electronics.

With preschool and school back in session, making sure children have enough sleep is essential to have a positive attitude. It will carry over into increased learning and performance. I am hoping you and your child can achieve the amount sleep needed so that everyone will awake “bright eyed and bushy tailed.”


Carrie Kube is a director for Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Board. All thoughts and opinions expressed are that of the author and not the board and/or its community partners.