How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need ?
We at the National Sleep Foundation make it our mission to champion not only sleep science, but sleep health for the individual. And so, on the eve of our 25th anniversary, we are releasing the results of a world-class study that took more than two years of research to complete – an update to our most-cited guidelines on how much sleep you really need at each age.
Though research cannot pinpoint an exact amount of sleep need by people at different ages, our new chart, which features minimum and maximum ranges for health as well as “recommended” windows, identifies the “rule-of-thumb” amounts experts agree uponNevertheless, it’s important to pay attention to your own individual needs by assessing how you feel on different amounts of sleep.
- Are you productive, healthy and happy on seven hours of sleep? Or does it take you nine hours of quality ZZZs to get you into high gear?
- Do you have health issues such as being overweight? Are you at risk for any disease?
- Are you experiencing sleep problems?
- Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
- Do you feel sleepy when driving?
Sleep Time Recommendations: What’s Changed?
“The NSF has committed to regularly reviewing and providing scientifically rigorous recommendations,” says Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, Chair of the National Sleep Foundation Scientific Advisory Council. “The public can be confident that these recommendations represent the best guidance for sleep duration and health.”
The panel revised the recommended sleep ranges for all six children and teen age groups. A summary of the new recommendations includes:
- Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
- Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
- Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
- Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
- School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
- Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
- Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
- Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)
Improve Your Sleep Today: Make Sleep a Priority :-
To begin a new path towards healthier sleep and a healthier lifestyle, begin by assessing your own individual needs and habits. See how you respond to different amounts of sleep.Pay careful attention to your mood, energy and health after a poor night’s sleep versus a good one. Ask yourself, “How often do I get a good night’s sleep?” Like good diet and exercise, sleep is a critical component to overall health.
- Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends.
- Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.
- Exercise daily.
- Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
- Beware of hidden sleep stealers, like alcohol and caffeine.
- Turn off electronics before bed.
Track Tests and Medications :-
To avoid a medication mix-up, don’t be afraid to speak up.”You want to always ask, ‘What is this medicine I’m getting? What is the dose? Why am I getting it today?’, says Raj.And if you can’t do it yourself, it’s great to have someone there looking out for you.”It’s so important,” Raj said. “Many of us who’ve had loved ones in the hospital realize that when we’re with them, we ask those important questions.”When you’re the sick person in the hospital, you’re distracted, you’re not feeling well, you’re not sleeping well,” she said. “It’s really great to have an advocate there by your side to ask those important questions and keep track of all those tests and medications.”