It is not uncommon to feel as though you are not getting enough sleep. Many Australians forego a full night’s rest due to family needs, school and work hours or other commitments. We know we should aim for more sleep each night — but how many hours of sleep is enough? The ideal amount may vary from person to person, as sleep requirements are unique, but there are recommended hours for each age group.
Children need more sleep than adults due to rapid mental and physical growth. Aside from getting enough sleep at night, consistent daytime naps are also essential for children 5 years of age and under.
- Newborns (0–3 months): 14–17 hours
- Infants (4–11 months): 12–15 hours
- Toddlers (1–2 years): 11–14 hours
- Pre-schoolers (1–3 years): 10–13 hours
- School-age children (4–13 years): 9–11 hours
There are biological changes that cause many teenagers to naturally stay up later at night. This may lead to a lack of sleep if they are allowed to go to bed late, but have school or commitments early in the morning. For this reason, being aware of and practicing good sleeping habits are especially important at this stage. More information on the causes and tips for avoiding teenage sleep deprivation can be found here.
- Teenagers (14–17 years): 8–10 hours
The required number of hours of sleep begins to stabilise at the beginning of adult life, around 20 years of age.
- Younger adults (18–25 years): 7–9 hours
- Adults (26–64 years): 7–9 hours
- Older adults (65 years+): 7–8 hours
How do you know you're getting enough sleep?
Each person has their own optimal amount of sleep. The numbers in this article identify recommended hours for specific age groups, but it is important to recognise signs that you may not be getting enough rest.
You’re getting enough sleep if:
- You’re able to focus on tasks during the day.
- You don’t have to rely on caffeine or sugar for energy.
- You have no trouble falling asleep at night.
- You feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning.
You’re not getting enough sleep if:
- You feel moody or cranky at daytime.
- You feel tired or sleepy throughout the day.
- You tend to become forgetful.
- You’re having trouble focusing on tasks.
- You find it difficult to fall asleep at night, or you have the tendency to wake up multiple times at night.
If you’re experiencing sleep deprivation, some of the common ways you can improve your sleep is by turning off distractions before bedtime, sticking to a sleep schedule and sleeping on a mattress with the right level of comfort for you.
Is your mattress keeping you up at night? It might be time look for a new one. Get our free Mattress Buying Guide here.