Ever wondered how much sleep you really need in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle? We do, especially when we wake up after a restless night. We all plan to get a good night’s sleep, but sometimes life just gets in the way.
Of course, when life doesn’t get in the way and your lack of sleep is down to last night’s documentary binge, it’s probably time to reassess your strategy. One of the things that work well for us is to remind ourselves of how much sleep we actually need – and, believe it or not, the number of hours isn’t the same for everyone.
Over the years, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has compiled numerous studies in order to come up with optimized recommended sleep standards depending on age. You might have already heard something about the recommendations, but they’re always making constant adjustments, which means your information on the subject might be outdated.
Here’s how much sleep you should be getting, depending on how old you are.
The NSF previously recommended that newborns get 12-18 hours of sleep a day, but they have now changed that to 14-17 hours.
Infants (4-11 Months)
Once babies have broken out of their sleepy newborn stage, they’d pretty much rather do anything than sleep. Luckily, they need only 12-15 hours of sleep per day to stay healthy.
Toddlers (1-2 Years)
Does your toddler always look super awake when you try to put him or her to bed? If so, then it might be time to cut down on those naps as kids this age only need around 11-14 hours of rest time per day.
Don’t stress too much if your kid’s preschool teacher tells you that your little one won’t sleep during nap time. At this age, kids need a lot less sleep – around 10-13 hours should do the trick.
School-age Kids (6-13 Years)
Though your third-grader might think they’re old enough to manage her own sleep schedule, they should still be getting 9-11 hours of sleep per night.
Teenagers (14-17 Years)
While you might not always have the power to keep your teenager on a good sleep schedule, the NSF recommends that teens in this age range get between 8-10 hours of sleep every night.
It’s recommended that people in this age bracket get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night – but we know that this isn’t always possible when adulthood hits.
Adults (26-64 Years)
Believe it or not, but adults and younger adults need the same amount of sleep – around 7-9 hours per night. Good luck with this if you have kids, though.
Older Adults (65+ Years)
Retirees don’t need as much sleep as their younger counterparts. The NSF recommends that people in this age range get around 7-8 hours of sleep per day.