Many of us are taught from a young age that we’re supposed to get at least 8 hours of sleep at night. However, according to the CDC, as much as one-third of American workers don’t receive enough sleep each night. As humans, we spend close to an entire third of our lives asleep. How many hours of sleep you need a night is determined by a multitude of factors including health and lifestyle, but the greatest factor of determination is generally age. While many adults believe they are able to function on 6 hours of sleep, studies from UC Berkeley determined that only 3% of the population carries a gene that allows them to properly function on this amount of sleep. So you may be wondering, well how much sleep do I need then? The National Sleep Foundation has routinely released sleep recommendations based on evaluations from expert scientists, doctors, and sleep specialists. In recent years, they have revised recommendations for sleep duration. The most recently revised recommendations are as follows:
Newborns (0-3 months):
What was previously recommended for 12-18 hours is now 14-17 hours.
Infants (4-11 months):
Previously 12-15 hours, infants are now recommended to sleep for 14-15 hours.
Toddlers (1-2 years):
Remaining relatively the same from 11-14 hours, toddlers should sleep for 12-14 hours.
With only an hour difference of change from 10-13 hours, preschoolers are recommended to sleep at least 10-13 hours.
School-age children (6-13):
Once again with little change from 10-11 hours, school-age children should sleep for 9-11 hours.
As it was previously advised for teenagers to sleep 8.5-9.5 hours, it is now recommended they sleep for 8-10 hours.
Young Adults (18-25):
With their revision, the National Sleep Foundation proposed the new category of young adults to sleep for 7-9 hours.
The sleep range for adults remains the same at 7-9 hours.
Older Adults (65+):
Lastly, the National Sleep Foundation created this second new category for older adults who are advised to sleep for 7-8 hours. Along with the recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation, when determining how many hours of sleep you should be getting each night it’s important to consider factors that are personal to you. Ask yourself questions like:
How do I feel after 7 hours of sleep? After 9? Do I feel like I’m at my best, or do I feel groggy and unmotivated?
Do I have any risks for disease? Do I struggle with issues like obesity or diabetes?
Do I have any sleep problems or disorders? Anything such as sleep apnea or struggles with insomnia?
Am I largely dependent on caffeine?
Getting enough hours of sleep each night is crucial to your health and ability to function. But don’t let the worry of getting enough sleep stress you out too much. In fact, many people that struggle with falling asleep at night struggle because of the sheer anxiety of not getting enough hours in. Rather than focusing on the negatives, take a look at some of our quick tips to ensure you get enough sleep at night:
Starting a sleeping log or journal is a great way to track the amount of sleep you’re getting each night. You can record how you felt after a certain amount of hours, and exactly when you fell asleep and woke up. Doing this will not only allow you to learn more about your body's sleeping patterns, but also may help you understand why you need a certain amount of hours each night.
Obviously one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting enough sleep each night is to ensure you have a premium mattress and high-quality bedding that will lull you to sleep (pun intended). With a mattress that perfectly caters to your body, pillows that eradicate neck pain, and silky soft duvet and sheets, you’ll be sure to not only get to sleep easily, but stay sound asleep throughout the night.
Set a Bedtime and Wake-up time
In order to keep a sense of consistency to your sleep schedule, you must set yourself a bedtime and wake-up time to stick to each day. Doing this will begin to create a sense of internal routine so that you’ll start to automatically feel tired around your bedtime, and begin naturally waking up when needed. With these simple tips, we guarantee getting enough sleep each night will become second nature! Be sure you and your loved ones are getting the recommended hours of sleep each night so you can all stay happy, healthy and well-functioning.