We all know getting enough sleep is a vital ingredient to better health and for more productive days – but how many hours of sleep is enough?
Short answer: the ideal length of sleep is not a one-size-fits-all, but there are recommended sleep times for each age group. Let Sealy walk you through
the recommended sleep length at different stages of a person’s lifespan.
How many hours of sleep do children need? Children, from newborns to pre-teens, typically need more sleep than their adult counterparts due to their rapid
mental and physical growth. The length of a good night’s sleep for kids at different stages are outlined below.
Newborns (0 to 3 months): typically need 14-17 hours of sleep
Infants (4 to 11 months): typically need 12-15 hours of sleep
Toddlers (1 to 2 years): typically need 11-14 hours of sleep
Pre-schoolers (1 to 3 years): typically need 10-13 hours of sleep
School-age children (4 to 13 years): typically need 9-11 hours of sleep
Aside from the getting enough sleep at night, consistent daytime naps are also essential for children 5 years of age and under.
Teenagers (14-17 years): typically need 8-10 hours of sleep at night
There is often a change in the timing of teens’ sleep, where they naturally want to stay up later and sleep in. This may lead to lack of sleep if they
are allowed to go to bed late, but have school early in the morning on the following day. 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 sleep deprivation in teens here.
How many hours of sleep does an adult need? At the beginning of adult life, around 20 years of age, the required number of hours of sleep begins to stabilise.
Younger Adults (18-25 years): typically need 7-9 hours of sleep
Adults (26-64 years): typically need 7-9 hours of sleep
Older Adults (65 years old and above): typically need 7-8 hours of sleep
There are adults who get less than their optimal length of sleep due to various factors such as stress, sleeping disorders and late work shifts, among
others. Some, however, genuinely require shorter amounts of sleep to feel refreshed; while there are true-blue long sleepers, as well. This is because,
as mentioned earlier, optimal sleep length is not exactly a one-size-fits-all and can vary per individual.
With that being said…
How do you know you're getting enough sleep?
To know if you're spending the adequate amount of sleep time for you, the key is to look at how well you function during the day.
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 to have enough energy at daytime.
- You have no trouble falling asleep at night.
- You feel refreshed when you get 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 and have the tendency to wake up multiple times during the course of your bedtime.
Wrapping it up
You can use the number of hours outlined in this article as a guide to compare your sleep length to generally recommended sleep times. More important,
however, is to take note of the signs enumerated above to assess the optimal number of hours of sleep needed specific to you. Prioritise catching enough
ZZZs and your body will thank you for it!
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