Are 8 Hours of Sleep Possible with Five Kids?


As a parent of five, I’m kidding myself if I think I’m going to get eight hours of sleep every night. But there are a few tricks to making sure you get a decent amount of sleep on most nights.

Share Responsibility

Ideally, parenting is a two-person job. Dads, that means helping out with midnight feedings and diaper changes and stepping in to watch the kids so your wife can nap when she needs to. You may not be able to breastfeed, but anyone can change a diaper!

Sleep In Chunks

Until modern times, humans were accustomed to sleeping in four-hour chunks. They would go to bed around sundown, then wake up for a couple of hours of quiet meditative time (or according to this study, frisky time), before going to sleep for another four hours. Point is, you don’t have to get all eight hours of sleep in a row.

Naps Are Your Best Friend

Studies show that a nap as brief as twenty minutes can revive you. Sneak it in when you can, and make sure you’re there to help out when your spouse needs a nap. Don’t feel like you have to sleep when you’re not tired, and when you do feel exhausted try to make sleep, or even a twenty nap happen. Listen to your body, and don’t feel anxious if you’re not always meeting your eight-hour requirement. We all know anxiety doesn’t do anything for restful sleep! Just do your best, and ask for help when you need it.

Banish Electronics From the Bedroom

Tori and I do not abide by this, but we hear it helps! Doctors recommend keeping your bedroom free of television, computers, phones, digital clocks – anything that emits blue light stimulates your mind and tricks your body into thinking it’s early morning. So in this case, do as we say not as we do!

What are your tips for getting enough sleep?
Share in the comments below.


  • Kathleen O

    The room should be dark and well-ventilated. Keep your bedding freshly washed. Turn off the TV. Take Melatonin every night at 9 PM.

  • Luce

    Hi Dean,

    Thanks for your tips !
    I recommend a bedroom where no lights can get through so you can sleep well and your body will wake up when it’s well rested and not because light disturbed it.
    You are right, no electronics in the room but today, it’s more and more common to use our cell phones as an alarm clock … so, at least, turn it off.
    I think that a room with a good temperature is an absolute must. If it’s too hot you’ll sleep bad and wake up with puffy eyes and if it’s too cold, you’ll be freezing under the covers. A room with a temperature around 18 degres (celsius) guarantees a good night sleep.
    Don’t eat and go to bed right after … take the time to digest.
    My dad (who is a doctor specialized in sleep problems) told me that a bed should be a place to sleep only. No hard thinking or meditation or anything. I think that you are allowed to sleep and love in a bed, at least !! :) but his point was to tell me that I should leave my problems and hard thinking at the door and sleep with a quiet brain.
    And last but not least, sleep next to your loved one (and I’m talking about your partner not the entire bunch of kids ;) ) should lead you to a nice and resting sleep.


  • Hunter

    Green Health Tips 4 Dads:

    - Warm Herb Tea after 6pm.
    - Limit 1 glass wine @ Dinner.
    - Turn electronics(TV)OFF, and IMF’s, as over-stimulation for brain.
    - Snuggle up w/ good books + soft blanket w/ child(ren)for storytime.
    - Don’t film drama in master bedroom.
    - Avoid all conflict management @ master bedroom. Bad Karma.
    - TV not healthy for relationships, whether filming or watching.
    - Dads’ living example gift to children w/longterm healthy habits.
    - 18+ years of childhood.

    Sleep is #1 for Health!

  • Hunter

    Green Romance @Young Parents, Living & Loving Softly:

    1. Nightly walk w/children and pets. Celebrate Sundown.
    2. Nightly Yoga/Massage w/ calming, soft music.
    3. Nightly Poetry/Prayer in positive affirmation of Family.
    4. Nightly Gratitude of Family.


  • Hangtown_girl

    I have fibromyalgia and chronic migraines so I don’t sleep well at all. Loved your tips sons are in their upper teens so they sleep through the night! ;)

  • Rudy Alapag

    gee, i wish i don’t have to get married and have kids crying but i would not know it yet would i?