Sleep is a key factor in our overall health—but just how much sleep should you get, based on your age? Not every age group needs the same amount of sleep, and making sure you're well rested at every stage of life means knowing the guidelines. Check out these 7 science-backed recommendations for how much you should sleep for your age.
Newborns (0 to 3 months)
14 to 17 hours per day
Babies may be getting lots of sleep, but any new parent will tell you they are sleep deprived. Babies use the full 24 hours with a pattern of waking and sleeping while adults are looking for those 7 or 8 consecutive hours of sleep at night.
Infants (4 to 11 months)
12 to 15 hours per day
Some parents are just lucky and their infant will start sleeping for 6 or 8 hours straight as early as 3 months. Most babies sleep in that longer stretch by the time they’re 6 months old. Pity the parent of the child that doesn’t have an extended sleep cycle until 12 months; it happens! Naps are still a big part of the sleeping pattern of infants.
Toddlers (1 to 2 years old) and Preschoolers (3 to 5 years old)
11 to 14 hours per day
These two groups are linked in the total of hours of sleep they need, but not the way they should get it. A new study shows that after the age of 2, preschoolers who nap is linked to poorer quality of sleep at night. They recommend discontinuing the nap at age 2, especially if the child isn’t sleeping well at night.
Teens (14 to 17 years old)
8 to 10 hours per day
Teens may suffer the most from sleep deprivation. More than half of teens 15 or older would benefit from sleeping 2 hours longer. They’re getting less than 7 hours! Why are teens sleep deprived? One of the easy answers is technology – tablets, smart phones and computers make social media available at any hour of the day. Another culprit may be earlier school start times and some sleep advocates are pushing for later times.
Young adults (18 to 25 years old)
7 to 9 hours per day
A busy time of life as young adults finish school, join the workforce and, perhaps, finding the love of their life. All those changes need a good night’s rest.
Adults (26 to 64 years old)
7 to 9 hours per day
If you need lots of coffee to make it through the day or you’re nodding off in a meeting, are you sleep deprived? Those are two signs – add being irritable, groggy and having difficulty with tasks. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you are risking your health. Obesity, heart disease, higher blood pressure all may be a result of bad sleeping habits.
7 to 8 hours per day
You may be able to sleep an hour less, but seniors need to remember that sleeping well is a big part of feeling well!