how many hours of sleep should a teenager get

Teenagers aged 14–18 years need 8–10 hours of sleep per day, according to Australian expert and government sources, while 6–13 year olds need between 9 and 11 hours. However, there are a number of variables to consider, so read on to learn more about how much sleep teenagers really need.

Age Recommended
12 years
9–11 hours
13 years
9–11 hours
14 years
8–10 hours
15 years
8–10 hours
16 years
8–10 hours
17 years
8–10 hours
18 years
8–10 hours

Infants, children and adolescents require more sleep than adults. Their biological needs differ in terms of physical and mental growth, with younger ages requiring the most amount of rest.

Sleep deprivation can become a chronic issue with dramatic effects on a teenager’s overall wellbeing, mental health and academic or sporting performance.

Of course, every teenager is different, and the right amount of sleep will vary depending on the individual. Their age, rate of physical activity, recent illnesses or sleep patterns will naturally contribute to how much sleep your teen needs. 

Are most Australian teenagers getting enough sleep?

A growing number of Australian teenagers are not getting enough sleep. We have an article on why teens are sleep deprived and some suggestions on how to help promote longer or healthier rest.

This is a concern because, without the right amount of sleep, teenagers (and people in general) are more likely to experience:

  • Cognitive difficulties and shorter attention spans
  • Poor decision making and memory impairment
  • Moodiness, aggression and depression
  • Increased risk-taking behaviour
  • Slower reflexes and clumsiness
  • Reduced academic or sporting performance

As they enter high school and take on increasing workloads, teenagers begin to sacrifice much-needed sleep, especially on school nights. Older teens in particular tend to suffer the most. While a quarter of 12-13 year olds do not meet minimum sleep requirements, only half of the 16-17 age group get enough sleep at night. In some cases, teenagers are only getting 6-7 hours of sleep, far below the recommended amount.

How much sleep do teenagers need

Source: Evans-Whipp & Gasser, LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2018

What if my teenager sleeps more than the average?

You may have noticed that teenagers go to bed progressively later at night, and may be more likely to sleep in or nap on the weekends. This is not necessarily a symptom of typical teenage behaviour, but a marker of adolescent biology. With puberty comes a change in natural rhythms and sleep cycles; teenagers typically do not start to feel tired until late at night, and their bodies take longer to produce melatonin and fall asleep.

Left to their own devices, many teenagers would naturally go to bed around 11 or 12 at night and wake up around 9 or 10 in the morning. School start times and work schedules are therefore somewhat prohibitive, requiring teenagers to wake up far earlier in the morning than ideal.

So, it is not necessarily a bad thing if your teenager sleeps more than an adult might. However, it is important to know when sleep is disrupted by other factors. Teenagers may also stay up later or sleep longer because of schoolwork or jobs, mental health concerns (like anxiety or depression), dependency on caffeinated beverages, or technology use (such as gaming or scrolling on their phone). 

How many hours of sleep should a teenager get

Helping my teenager get the right amount of sleep

According to research, many teenagers resort to the use of caffeine and energy drinks, either  to stay awake longer at night or to combat sleep deprivation during the day. Rather than trying to supplement sleep, it is important that teenagers are encouraged to get their recommended 8-10 hours. There are numerous ways you can support your teenager’s sleep:

  • Establish an ideal timeframe for going to bed, and stick to it whenever possible
  • Ensure your teen has an ideal sleep environment that is conducive to rest
  • Encourage a restful or relaxing routine before going to sleep, such as taking warm baths, enjoying calming beverages or reading
  • Encourage naps and sleep-ins where appropriate
  • Limit caffeine intake, especially in the hours leading up to bed time
  • Limit technology 1–2 hours before sleep

Of course, depending on their physical activities and responsibilities during the day, your teenager may also benefit from a more supportive mattress. If it is time for an upgrade, there are some mattress size options suited taller teens, and you may wish to have your teenager try our online mattress selector.

FAQs about sleep for teenagers

What time should 14 year olds go to bed?

For their age group, a 14 year old should go to bed early enough to get 8-10 hours of sleep. Start with their wake up time and work backwards. For example, if they have to be up by 7am, then they ought to be in bed by around 9-11pm.

How much does a 15 year old need for sleep?

A 15 year old needs 8-10 hours of sleep, as recommended by sleep studies and government health departments. Any less than the recommended amount can result in sleep deprivation and a wide range of impacts on daily life.

Can teens get 5 hours of sleep?

Depending on their age, teenagers should be getting between 8-11 hours of sleep. Any less than the recommended amount can result in sleep deprivation. While every person is different, 5 hours is generally an insufficient amount of rest for teenagers as they are continuing to develop and grow.

Do teenagers need 10 hours of sleep?

Yes, many teenagers will feel that they need 10 hours of sleep. Children aged 12-13 years require an average of 9-11 hours, while 14-17 year olds ought to be getting 8-10 hours of sleep per night.

Is 8 hours of sleep enough for a 17 year old?

8 hours of sleep is the minimum recommendation for a 17 year old.  It is agreed by sleep studies and health departments that older adolescents should get 8-10 hours of sleep per night in order to function well in their daily lives.