It’s no secret that getting a good night’s sleep is important for your health. Without enough sleep, you may have a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and weight gain. But how much sleep constitutes a good night’s sleep? The answer is a little different for everyone, and it varies based on your age. Infants and toddlers will spend most of their time sleeping. Infants may sleep up to 18 hours a day (including naps), and toddlers may need 11-14 hours of sleep each day. Here’s a look at sleep recommendations by age for everyone from adolescents to seniors
By the time children are in grade school, they’ll usually be adjusted to a nightly sleep routine. However, developing minds and bodies still need much more sleep than adults—about 9-11 hours each night.
Many teenagers don’t get as much sleep as they should due to demanding schedules, the constant availability of social media and other distractions on electronic devices, and hormonal time shifts that drive them to stay up at later hours. Still, teens should get about 8-10 hours of sleep every night.
In adulthood, it’s easy to take sleep for granted, and you might think that you can function on just 5-6 hours of sleep. In reality, you should aim for 7-9 hours. And don’t assume that you can catch up on sleep during the weekends. Oversleeping on the weekends is only likely to make you even more tired.
Older adults tend to experience changes in their sleeping patterns and may need slightly less sleep than younger adults—about 7-8 hours.
The above recommendations are not set in stone. Some people may need a little more sleep than others. You may also find that simply being in bed for 8 hours doesn’t necessarily yield a full 8 hours of sleep. Give yourself ample time to drift off and wake up in the morning. Ideally, you shouldn’t have your alarm clock set to a time just moments before you need to head out the door.
Did you know that sleep deprivation is often linked to mental health issues like depression and anxiety? If you’re finding restful sleep elusive, consulting a therapist may help you get on a healthy sleep schedule. MeMD can connect you with a licensed therapist in as few as 24 hours, so you can get back on track with your health.