How Much Sleep Do I Need? Recommended Sleep Times for Every Age

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Everyone will experience at least one or more sleep problems during their lifetime. All of those who wondered: “How much sleep do I need?”, now can rely on a new set of recommendations.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), has published a new report on how much sleep do you need. They completed this report together with a panel of experts. For most age groups, appropriate sleep ranges are now wider. Two new age groups have been added: 18-25 and older adults (65+). Let’s go over each category and try to expand on the National Sleep Foundation findings.

Before we start, you should note that people’s needs vary – depending on age, health and lifestyle. The quality of their bed plays an important role too. Thus, it’s not only important to fall within a certain guideline for your age group. You also have to consider other factors that play a role in the quality and quantity of the healthy sleep you get.

Recommended for you: Use our Sleep Calculator to find out exactly when your should go to bed.
AGERECOMMENDEDAPPROPRIATENOT RECOMMENDED
NEWBORNS (0-3 MONTHS)14-17h11-13h, 18-19h<11h, >19h
INFANTS (4-11 MONTHS)12-15h10-11h , 16-18h<10h, >18h
TODDLERS (1-2 YEARS)11-14h9-10h , 15-16h<9h, >16h
PRESCHOOLERS (3-5 YEARS)10-13h8-9h, 14h<8h, >14h
SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN (6-13 YEARS)9-11h7-8h, 12h<7h, >12h
TEENAGERS (14-17 YEARS)8-10h7h, 11h<7h, >11h
YOUNGER ADULTS (18-25 YEARS)7-9h6h, 10-11h<6h, >11h
ADULTS (26-64 YEARS)7-8h5-9h<5h, >9h

Newborns (0-3 months)

  • Recommended: 14-17h
  • Appropriate: 11-13h, 18-19h
  • Not recommended: less than 11h, more than 19h

Newborns in their first few months of life can sleep at any time of the day. Their sleep cycles have a lot to do with the feeding, changing, and nurturing. Newborn babies tend to rest from 11 up to 19 hours per night with an uneven schedule. They can be awake for up to three hours at a time, while their amount of sleep can last from five minutes to a couple of hours per day.

Infants (4-11 months)

  • Recommended : 12-15h
  • Appropriate: 10-11h , 16-18h
  • Not recommended: less than 10h, more than 18h

When they reach six months of age, most infants will no longer need feeding during the night. Moreover, up to 80 percent of them won’t wake up until morning by the time they reach nine months. Babies between 4 and 11 months usually have for about 12 hours of sleep each night. They usually have a couple of 30-minute naps during the day.

Toddlers (1-2 years)

  • Recommended: 11-14h
  • Appropriate: 9-10h , 15-16h
  • Not recommended: less than 9h, more than 16h

Toddlers need less amount of sleep, so their sleep duration is between 11 and 14 hours per day. By the time, they’re 18 months old, the number of naps will decrease to maybe once a day for up to three hours. One thing to note is that naps should not be too close to their usual bedtime so that it’s not delayed.

Preschoolers (3-5 years)

  • Recommended: 10-13h
  • Appropriate: 8-9h, 14h
  • Not recommended: less than 8h, more than 14h

Children who are from three years up to five years of age need 10 to 13 hours of night's sleep. What’s more, most of them stop napping when they reach the age of five. According to this National Sleep Foundation study, during this period, children also tend to have nightmares or experience sleepwalking. These can sometimes cut their amount of sleep short because they struggle to fall asleep afterwards.

School-age children (6-13 years)

  • Recommended: 9-11h
  • Appropriate: 7-8h, 12h
  • Not recommended: less than 7h, more than 12h

On average, age group of 6 to 13-year-old kids need 9-11 hours of sleep a night. They also have to spend more and more time on schoolwork and other activities as they age. Furthermore, children in this group devote more time to cellphones, computers, the internet or watching TV. This can lead to a disrupted sleep schedule.

Learn More: How Much Sleep Do Kids Need?

Teenagers (14-17 years)

  • Recommended: 8-10h
  • Appropriate: 7 or 11h
  • Not recommended: less than 7h, more than 11h

Teens most often need 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night, but their sleeping patterns shift, so they go to bed and wake up later. It is natural for high school kids to stay up as late as until 11 pm. That’s why sleep patterns for teenagers can fluctuate during the week. But it’s also because of schoolwork and social activities.

Get more info: How Much Sleep Do Teens Need?

growing older

Younger Adults (18-25 years)

  • Recommended: 7-9h
  • Appropriate: 6 or 10-11h
  • Not recommended: less than 6h, more than 11h

Young adults have the most trouble getting the suggested 7-9 hours of sleep. It is especially the case with college students. According to National Sleep Foundation report, this is the time when people have the most irregular sleeping patterns. Some pull all-nighters because of exams and then get up early to take them. Then there’s socialization and staying out ’till late. It’s always best to reduce caffeine and alcohol intake while sticking to a healthy diet. Regular exercise will help you to maintain a good sleeping schedule and to get the sleep you need.

Adults (26-64 years)

Aging in a healthy way is usually associated with reduced sleep needs. The official recommendation for people older than 65 is 7-8 hours of sleep every day. But it might be as little as 5 or as much as 9 hours. Since sleep is a restorative process, adults need to get enough sleep. This is the period in life where we are at risk of chronic and severe illness. There is also the increased possibility of accidents that stem from being tired.

Signs You're Not Getting Enough Sleep

Caffeine Dependency

If you notice an increasing need for another cup of coffee— rather than simple desire— it might be time to reassess your sleeping habits. You don’t want to be depending on multiple jolts of caffeine to get you through the day.

Hindered Memory and Focus

It’s not uncommon to notice a lack of focus or memory disruption if you are experiencing sleep deprivation. Having sleep problems can have a serious effect on your brain, hindering it’s functioning, and can even result in dangerous accidents.

Moody Feelings

If you regularly notice yourself falling into irritable spells, a reduction in patience, or generally feel unhappy, these are classic signs of fatigue. Think of a child, when they’re tired, they are often cranky, unpleasant, and lose their cool at the drop of a hat.

Junk Food Cravings

When we’re tired we often crave things that aren’t of good health for us due to fatigue. As a result we often skip workouts and crave fast, easy, unhealthy food. However this begins a wicked cycle because when we injest poor quality food with little nutrients, we only wind up more tired.

You Experience Breakouts

You may notice an increase in breakouts on your skin that didn’t normally happen before, and it may be due to sleep disorder. Effects of sleep deprivation can weaken the immune system, leaving your body more vulnerable to numerous health problems.

Puffy Eyes With Dark Circles

Those individuals who experience sleep deprivation can start showing physical symptoms of distress as a result of extreme fatigue. Having sleep problems can show up in facial features through downturned smiles, dull and dry skin, puffy eyes, and increased wrinkles.

Weight Gain

If you’re tired you’re less likely to exercise. Additionally, we need sleep to reset and recharge. According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep regulates the hormones that control hunger, so without crucial regulators you could wind up more hungry.

Easy Ways To Prioritize Sleep

Prioritizing sleep is easier said than done, but with a few expert tips you could be taking nightly trips to snoozeville.

Create A Bedtime Routine

Keeping a sleep routine helps tremendously with sticking to a habit. Your body has a way of memorizing these things physically, and simply repeating them over and over again for a few weeks can help to ingrain the habit into your mind, making it easier to stick with.

Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol are both widely known to affect sleep quality so reducing your intake of both is highly recommended. Even just one cup of coffee can inhibit your quality of rest, however just decreasing the amount you drink could help.

Stick To A Schedule For All 7 Days In The Week

It’s tempting to stay up late and sleep in during the weekends, however, this could affect your quality of rest. Your body wants to settle into a routine and know what to expect day after day. Even on weekends, try to stick to a sleep schedule more often than not and your body will thank you.

Avoid Electronic Devices Before Bed

We’ve likely all been guilty of scrolling through social media or checking our email in bed. Letting our apps influence our lives hinders our individual autonomy. Embrace your freedom to step away from the smart phone.

Create A Sleep Haven

If you’re not looking forward to falling asleep into a fluffy warm bed tonight, you may need a new mattress. Having proper sleep products like a supportive mattress, cozy comforter, fluffy pillows, and soft sheets could inspire you to hit the hay.

Conclusion


Healthy sleep is essential for the well-being of both the body and the human mind. Skipping sleep for long term periods of time can lead to severe mental disorders and chronic fatigue. Lack of motivation and even depression are linked to sleep deprivation. Getting a good night’s sleep allows our bodies and our brains to regenerate and freshen up for the following day. Good sleep health is what helps your body recuperate from an all day long term activity and stress. Be sure to fall asleep on time and leave all distractions aside as soon as you get sleepy. You will be healthier and in a better mood the next day.

Sleep Advisor