How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Research shows that getting enough sleep is important for your health and well-being, and could even help improve memory and mood. Our bodies also need rest to feel refreshed and ready to go at full capacity the next day. While every person is different when it comes to exactly how much sleep they need, most people fall within a certain range—based on their age.

Alarm Clock

All of us know the importance of getting a good night’s sleep to get through the next day. For adults, that typically means seven or more hours of sleep for most people.

Whether you’re a parent struggling to get your baby to sleep, or a college student pulling all-nighters, good sleep is important for the mind and body. Getting enough hours of shut-eye at night can leave you feeling relaxed in the morning and less run down throughout the day. While opinions vary as far as the exact amount of sleep needed per night, most people fall within a range, based on their age.

The amount of sleep you need changes as you get older. On average, adults under the age of 55 need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, while older adults should strive for at least 7 hours per night. This guide will teach you how to tell if you’re getting enough sleep, and how to improve your sleep habits for better rest.


How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Need?

No matter how much or little you sleep, your age and lifestyle play a role in the number of recommended hours and minutes of sleep at night. Based on this information, you can find out if you’re getting enough shut-eye.

0-3 months, babies need 14 to 17 hours of sleep, including naps during the day, since newborns rarely fall asleep through the night. Older infants (4-11 months) require 12 to 15 hours of sleep a day.

Toddlers’ sleep needs between 11 and 14 hours per night between the first and second year of life.

Preschoolers (3-5 years old) should get 10 to 13 hours per night, while school-age kids (6-13 years old) need nine to 11 hours per night.

Teenagers: As kids get older, they sleep less. Teens (14-17 years) need eight to ten hours of sleep per night.

Adults over the age of 18 should aim to sleep seven to nine hours every night. Those aged 65 and older might need less sleep: 7 to 8 hours is recommended.

Build in Some Flex Time

The average person requires about eight hours of sleep every night for good health, but we all have a natural tendency to sleep less or more than that. “The amount of sleep you need varies from individual to individual,” says Dr. Breus. On average, he says, adults need between six and eight hours of sleep daily. Some people can function well on the lower end of the range and others will need every minute of the upper limit.”

A good deal of research has indicated that the amount of sleep we get has a direct effect on our level of alertness, ability to concentrate, and performance in both academic and professional settings . Depending on the individual, some people may function well on six hours per night, while others will need every minute of seven hours or more . It is also important to note that an additional hour or two on either side of a given range may be appropriate, depending on the person.

Do you suffer from sleeplessness or insomnia? Tired of being tired all the time? When you can’t sleep, it affects your performance at work and at home. You don’t realize how poor your mood, energy level, and attention span are until you get a good night’s rest.

It’s never been more important to get the right amount of sleep—and that starts with knowing how much you actually need. Our comprehensive sleep quiz breaks down everything you need to know about your levels of exhaustion, broken down by hours of sleep per day. And we can help you determine the types of sleep disorders that are affecting you, so you can lead a healthier lifestyle full of rest and relaxation.


Easy Ways to Get More Sleep

Try setting a regular bedtime to help you stay on a sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night to allow your body to settle into a regular sleep-wake cycle. Turn off any screens 1 hour before bedtime, and avoid napping.

Covering everything from sleep hygiene to finding the right mattress, sleep gear, and techie gadgets to make my new routine easier, this guidebook also includes tips on ways to reduce stress—not only the day before bedtime but also in general—since research shows that even mild or short-term stress can negatively impact nightly shut-eye.

Three hours is the recommended amount of sleep most adults need each night. Getting enough shuteye helps keep you alert at work, and it can also reduce your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.

To ensure that I get enough shut-eye, I make sure to keep the same sleep schedule every night. I go to bed daily by 11 p.m. I also steer clear of electronic devices right before bed, and instead take up relaxing hobbies, like reading. These habits help me get a good night’s rest and feel recharged in the morning.

To help get quality sleep, some tips to try are avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and spicy and fried foods right before bedtime. Aim for a bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 °F, make sure it’s dark, and block any bothersome noises with a pair of earplugs.

To help your little one fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night, create a relaxing routine before bedtime. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and spicy or fried foods right before bedtime. Also, aim for a bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 °F, and create a dark environment by closing the blinds or using heavy drapes. In addition, if you can’t find a pair of earplugs to block out snoring or other bothersome noises, turn on a sound machine that will provide white noise–a constant background sound that can mask irregular noises.

It can be tough to make sure you’re getting the sleep you need, but getting a good night’s rest is worth the effort. For better sleep, avoid alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods and fried foods right before bedtime; maintain a bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 °F; turn off the light; and block out any bothersome noises with a pair of earplugs.

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