I do my best to get a good night's sleep every night. I am generally aware of how many hours I need to be a happy bee in the morning and throughout the majority of the day. I've also long been aware of how much sleep my son needs to be at his best, and try to ensure he is getting the right amount.

I know that his sleep needs will change as he gets older - both when he reaches middle school and again when he is a teenager. What I didn't realize is that my sleep needs will need to be reassessed when he is a teen.

That's right: Parents of teenagers probably need more sleep. I say "probably" because there are two factors to consider here:
  1. Either parents know how much sleep they need and they are short changing themselves in some way.
  2. Or parents have never been getting enough sleep and definitely need more overall.

The study is not advising that a parent's sleep needs have magically changed the moment their child reaches puberty. Rather, the study is saying that parents get irritable and irrational when they don't get enough sleep and that is not a good state of being when dealing with a teenager (who may also be irritable and irrational).

Easier said than done, of course (like most parenting advice). I think back to how my Mom worked long hours at her job when I was a teenager. I know she never got enough sleep at night; and she still had to deal with my mood swings.

Sorry, Mom!

What is your ideal number of sleep hours? Share in the comments.

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