How much sleep do we need

Most of us grew up hearing about that magical “eight hours of sleep” that we should all be getting, but is this number a realistic one? Does everyone really need a full eight hours of sleep to function properly day after day? In fact, most sleep experts have concluded that the amount of sleep people need really depends on their age, and as a general rule, the older you are, the less sleep you need.

This makes sense when you think about it. Babies sleep almost constantly, then learn to get by on a few naps every day until those naps are no longer needed. We all have grandparents who seem to sleep just a few hours a night, so the fact that people need less sleep as they get older should come as no surprise to anyone.


How Much Sleep Is Necessary?

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) hasn’t always used age brackets in their sleep recommendations, but their newest recommendations look like this:

●        Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours

●        Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours

●        Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours

●        Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours

●        School-aged children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours

●        Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours

●        Young adults (18-25 years): 7-9 hours

●        Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours

●        Older adults (65+ years): 7-8 hours

Most people are surprised by some of these numbers, especially the numbers for adults, because many adults feel like they can live on getting five or so hours of sleep every night. As you can see from the NSF numbers, however, this isn’t the case. Moreover, the foundation came up with these numbers through dissection of scientific information regarding sleep and health, so there is a scientific basis to their recommendations.


What Does This Mean in Practical Terms?

Stress is a part of life, but stress can cause people to get less sleep than they need, which is why knowing the recommended number of hours for your particular age is the first step to making sure you get enough sleep each night. If you’re curious about your own number, consider this: there are ways you can tell if you’re not getting enough sleep, and they include:

●        You can’t make decisions as well as you used to.

●        You feel a lot moodier or more irritable.

●        You feel very drowsy during the day.

●        You have an increased appetite.

●        Your focus and productivity have suffered.

●        Your skin looks different, for example, your complexion has gotten dull or you have dark circles underneath your eyes.

So if you’re wondering, how much sleep do we need or about the symptoms of not getting enough sleep, now you know. Getting the right amount of sleep isn’t always easy, especially if you have a job and a family, but it’s crucial that everyone attempt to get enough sleep every night to be able to function better each and every day, and a lot of times, the problem can be solved with the right mattress.

If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and you suffer with this regularly, it might be time to talk to your doctor about the problem. Learning how to fall asleep is just as important as staying asleep the entire night, but fortunately there are easy solutions to both of these problems. If you want to read more about this topic and get helpful tips, please visit