Are you getting enough sleep? The CDC recommends that adults get at least 7-8 hours of sleep, while school-age children get at least 10 hours of sleep each night, and teens should get 9-10 hours of sleep. Here are some things you can work on during the day that will help you or your child get a better night’s sleep.

Sleep Success Tips for Parents

Parents lose a tremendous amount of sleep – up to 50 percent – in the first year of their child’s birth, especially breastfeeding moms who can be on call as often as every two hours. Nevertheless, there are many things that parents can do together to help share the sleep burden and lighten their load.

For example, partners can take turns feeding, and rotate night-shifts, with baby. If mom is breastfeeding, she can pump in the day, and dad can feed in the night. The key is team work and collaboration. If mom or dad has an important meeting in the morning, the other partner can fill in the gap and compensate. At the end of the day, this is how we build intimacy and mutuality… the cornerstones of a good relationship.

Sleep Success Tips for Children

For older children, it is important to set a structure for bedtime with standards and rituals. Then, your child knows what to expect and can rely upon you to follow a set procedure that helps him feel valued, secure and bonded — three very necessary feelings for a good night’s sleep.

First, create a quiet ambience by lowering lights and turning off all technological devices. An hour before sleep is the deadline for television, radio, computers, iPads, and games that are stimulating. The atmosphere should be one of calm and quiet, helping your child wind down at the end of the day, and prepare for sleep. Baroque music that is syncopated to your heart beat in the andante movement will automatically relax your child. Structured routines, such as brushing teeth, and a warm, but not too hot, bath will relax muscles while lowering decibels. A regular story time, with a book read by mom or dad, also helps your child feel cozy, bonded and relaxed.

The idea is to lower the anxiety level of your child and support him through the rituals of preparing for sleep. On my website, you can find some CD’s that enhance sleep through progressive relaxation techniques. It’s something you can do with your child and it will help you both not only enjoy the process of going to sleep, but experience a wonderful and sound sleep.


  • Dr. Gail Gross

    Author and Parenting, Relationships, and Human Behavior Expert

    Dr. Gail Gross, Ph.D., Ed.D., M.Ed., a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and member of APA Division 39, is a nationally recognized family, child development, and human behavior expert, author, and educator. Her positive and integrative approach to difficult issues helps families navigate today’s complex problems. Dr. Gross is frequently called upon by national and regional media to offer her insight on topics involving family relationships, education, behavior, and development issues. A dependable authority, Dr. Gross has contributed to broadcast, print and online media including CNN, the Today Show, CNBC's The Doctors, Hollywood Reporter, FOX radio, FOX’s The O’Reilly Factor, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Times of India, People magazine, Parents magazine, Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine, USA Today, Univision, ABC, CBS, and KHOU's Great Day Houston Show. She is a veteran radio talk show host as well as the host of the nationally syndicated PBS program, “Let’s Talk.” Also, Dr. Gross has written a semi-weekly blog for The Huffington Post and has blogged at since 2013. Recently, Houston Women's Magazine named her One of Houston's Most Influential Women of 2016. Dr. Gross is a longtime leader in finding solutions to the nation’s toughest education challenges. She co-founded the first-of-its kind Cuney Home School with her husband Jenard, in partnership with Texas Southern University. The school serves as a national model for improving the academic performance of students from housing projects by engaging the parents. Dr. Gross also has a public school elementary and secondary campus in Texas that has been named for her. Additionally, she recently completed leading a landmark, year-long study in the Houston Independent School District to examine how stress-reduction affects academics, attendance, and bullying in elementary school students, and a second study on stress and its effects on learning. Such work has earned her accolades from distinguished leaders such as the Dalai Lama, who presented her with the first Spirit of Freedom award in 1998. More recently, she was honored in 2013 with the Jung Institute award. She also received the Good Heart Humanitarian Award from Jewish Women International, Perth Amboy High School Hall of Fame Award, the Great Texan of the Year Award, the Houston Best Dressed Hall of Fame Award, Trailblazer Award, Get Real New York City Convention's 2014 Blogging Award, and Woman of Influence Award. Dr. Gross’ book, The Only Way Out Is Through, is available on Amazon now and offers strategies for life’s transitions including coping with loss, drawing from dealing with the death of her own daughter. Her next book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, is also available on Amazon now and teaches parents how to enhance their child’s learning potential by understanding and recognizing their various development stages. And her first research book was published by Random House in 1987 on health and skin care titled Beautiful Skin. Dr. Gross has created 8 audio tapes on relaxation and stress reduction that can be purchased on Most recently, Dr. Gross’s book, The Only Way Out is Through, was named a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Silver Medal finalist in 2020 and Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Awards in the categories of Death & Dying as well as Grief. Her latest book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, was the National Parenting Product Awards winner in 2019, the Nautilus Book Awards winner in 2019, ranked the No. 1 Best New Parenting Book in 2019 and listed among the Top 10 Parenting Books to Read in 2020 by BookAuthority, as well as the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Gold Medal winner in 2020 and Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Awards in the category of How-To. Dr. Gross received a BS in Education and an Ed.D. (Doctorate of Education) with a specialty in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. She earned her Master’s degree in Secondary Education with a focus on Psychology from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Dr. Gross received her second PhD in Psychology, with a concentration in Jungian studies. Dr. Gross was the recipient of Kappa Delta Pi An International Honor Society in Education. Dr. Gross was elected member of the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta.