Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
Recovery From Sleep Loss
May 16, 2022

Found in age groups

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night's Sleep

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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
Chapter 1 (only 16 pages!) outlines everything you need to know about your child's sleep.

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A Healthy Child Needs a Healthy Brain, A Healthy Brain Needs Healthy Sleep

When your child’s sleep tank is drained because of an illness or holiday or other special event, how many days of recovery sleep does it take to refill the tank? The answer depends on how well your child was sleeping before the event, the severity of the sleep loss per night, and the number of days of insufficient sleep. Here are some facts that illustrate why recovery may take longer than you think. In 2021, researchers in Australia studied adolescents, aged 15-17 years, all were good sleepers with more than 8 hours of sleep per night. They were experimentally studied in a sleep laboratory for 10 nights and divided into 3 groups:


Blog 79Recovery From Sleep Loss

Nights 1 and 2 (Baseline): 

  • All had a 10-hour sleep opportunity

Nights 3-8: 

  • 3 groups of adolescents
  1. 5-hour sleep opportunity (sleep restricted)
  2. 7.5-hour sleep opportunity (sleep restricted)
  3. 10-hour sleep opportunity (control)

Nights 9 and 10 (Recovery): 

  • All had a 10-hour sleep opportunity

Here are the results:

Group 1. 

  • Nights 3-8: Depressed Mood, Anger, and Confusion, Reduced happiness, and Less energy compared to baseline Nights 1-2.
  • Nights 9-10: Depressed Mood worsened; Increased Happiness and Energy compared to Nights 3-8.

Group 2. 

  • Nights 3-8: Less Energy compared to baseline Nights 1-2.
  • Nights 9-10: Increased Energy compared to Nights 3-8.

Group 3. 

  • Nights 3-8: Increased Happiness compared to baseline Nights 1-2.
  • Nights 9-10: Increased Happiness more compared to Nights 3-8.


  • Sleep restriction (Group 1) increases negative mood and decreases positive mood (Blog Post 75). “Two nights of recovery sleep (nights 9-10) was not sufficient to recover from increased negative mood states (depression), although recovery occurred for positive mood states (happiness and energy).”
  • Adolescents, who slept more than 8 hours each night, when given the opportunity to obtain more sleep (Group 3) exhibited increased happiness (Blog Post 6). “This demonstrates that obtaining optimal sleep increases happiness by more than 10% over the course of the study.”

Sleep Banking (Blog Post 63) may help recover from sleep loss.

(To be continued.) To stay updated with my latest baby and child sleep blog posts, be sure to subscribe today.

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