Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

How Early Do You Get Up to Go to Work?

Yesterday we asked live-in nannies and au pairs if they have a curfew on week nights? We also asked on our Facebook page what time nannies and au pairs get to work. Today, we are asking you to answer if you feel like you are getting enough sleep on week nights?

Working as a nanny or au pair is exhausting. Not only are nannies and au pairs required to play with children, prepare healthy snacks, tidy the children’s areas and so much more, most nannies work very long hours.

Getting too little sleep creates a “sleep debt,”which means your body will demand that the debt be repaid and you catch up on lack of sleep. We don’t seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need, while we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment, reaction time, and other functions are still impaired.

Too little sleep may cause: memory problems, depression, a weakening of your immune system, increasing your chance of becoming sick, and an increase in perception of pain. Plus, sleep-deprived people drive as badly or worse than those who are intoxicated.

The amount of sleep a person needs depends on many factors, including age. For example, in general:

  • Infants require about 16 hours a day
  • Teenagers need about 9 hours on average
  • Most adults need 7 to 8 hours a night for the best amount of sleep, although some people may need as few as 5 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day
  • Women in the first three months of pregnancy often need several more hours of sleep than usual
However, experts say that if you feel drowsy during the day, even during boring activities, you haven’t had enough sleep.


  1. I don't get enough sleep and I know it. I work 8-10 hours a day M-F as an au pair, and am also doing my college degree from home while I am here, so am sometimes up until 1 or 2am studying and chatting to friends back home.And I struggle to catch up on sleep on the weekend, because my host kids are so noisy!!!

  2. I don't get nearly enough sleep. I work just under 12 hours per day. I catch up on Saturdays when I sleep pretty much all day. I really get up just for late breakfast and back to bed most of the day. Interesting learning about sleep debt because I do make up for lost sleep on weekends.

  3. On the days I work 12 hours I am sleeping by 8 p.m.

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