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How much sleep does 20 year old need: How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?


How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?

Scientific research makes clear that sleep is essential at any age. Sleep powers the mind, restores the body, and fortifies virtually every system in the body. But how much sleep do we really need in order to get these benefits?

National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Babies, young children, and teens need even more sleep to enable their growth and development. People over 65 should also get 7 to 8 hours per night.

Knowing the general recommendations for how much sleep you need is a first step. Then It’s important to reflect on your individual needs based on factors like your activity level and overall health. And finally, of course, it’s necessary to apply healthy sleep tips so that you can actually get the full night’s sleep that’s recommended.

How Much Sleep Is Recommended for Each Age Group?

The recommended sleep times are broken down into nine age groups.

Age Range Recommended Hours of Sleep
Newborn 0-3 months old 14-17 hours
Infant 4-11 months old 12-15 hours
Toddler 1-2 years old 11-14 hours
Preschool 3-5 years old 10-13 hours
School-age 6-13 years old 9-11 hours
Teen 14-17 years old 8-10 hours
Young Adult 18-25 years old 7-9 hours
Adult 26-64 years old 7-9 hours
Older Adult 65 or more years old 7-8 hours

Scroll L – R for more details

In each group, the guidelines present a recommended range of nightly sleep duration for healthy individuals. In some cases, sleeping an hour more or less than the general range may be acceptable based on a person’s circumstances.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

These guidelines serve as a rule-of-thumb for how much sleep children and adults need while acknowledging that the ideal amount of sleep can vary from person to person.

For that reason, the guidelines list a range of hours for each age group. The recommendations also acknowledge that, for some people with unique circumstances, there’s some wiggle room on either side of the range for “acceptable,” though still not optimal, amount of sleep.

Deciding how much sleep you need means considering your overall health, daily activities, and typical sleep patterns. Some questions that you help assess your individual sleep needs include:

  • Are you productive, healthy, and happy on seven hours of sleep? Or have you noticed that you require more hours of sleep to get into high gear?
  • Do you have coexisting health issues? Are you at higher risk for any disease?
  • Do you have a high level of daily energy expenditure? Do you frequently play sports or work in a labor-intensive job?
  • Do your daily activities require alertness to do them safely? Do you drive every day and/or operate heavy machinery? Do you ever feel sleepy when doing these activities?
  • Are you experiencing or do you have a history of sleeping problems?
  • Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
  • When you have an open schedule, do you sleep more than you do on a typical workday?

Start with the above-mentioned recommendations and then use your answers to these questions to home in on your optimal amount of sleep.

How Were the Recommendations Created?

To create these recommended sleep times, an expert panel of 18 people was convened from different fields of science and medicine. The members of the panel reviewed hundreds of validated research studies about sleep duration and key health outcomes like cardiovascular disease, depression, pain, and diabetes.

After studying the evidence, the panel used several rounds of voting and discussion to narrow down the ranges for the amount of sleep needed at different ages. In total, this process took over nine months to complete.

Other organizations, such as the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and Sleep Research Society (SRS) have also published recommendations for the amount of sleep needed for adults and children. In general, these organizations closely coincide in their findings as do similar organizations in Canada.

Improve Your Sleep Today: Make Sleep a Priority

Once you have a nightly goal based on the hours of sleep that you need, it’s time to start planning for how to make that a reality.

Start by making sleep a priority in your schedule. This means budgeting for the hours you need so that work or social activities don’t trade off with sleep. While cutting sleep short may be tempting in the moment, it doesn’t pay off because sleep is essential to being at your best both mentally and physically.

Improving your sleep hygiene, which includes your bedroom setting and sleep-related habits, is an established way to get better rest. Examples of sleep hygiene improvements include:

If you’re a parent, many of the same tips apply to help children and teens get the recommended amount of sleep that they need for kids their age. Pointers for parents can help with teens, specifically, who face a number of unique sleep challenges.

Getting more sleep is a key part of the equation, but remember that it’s not just about sleep quantity. Quality sleep matters, too, and it’s possible to get the hours that you need but not

feel refreshed because your sleep is fragmented or non-restorative. Fortunately, improving sleep hygiene often boosts both the quantity and quality of your sleep.

If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms such as significant sleepiness during the day, chronic snoring, leg cramps or tingling, difficulty breathing during sleep, chronic insomnia, or another symptom that is preventing you from sleeping well, you should consult your primary care doctor or find a sleep professional to determine the underlying cause.

You can try using our Sleep Diary or Sleep Log to track your sleep habits. This can provide insight about your sleep patterns and needs. It can also be helpful to bring with you to the doctor if you have ongoing sleep problems.

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How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Although most men and women need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, their sleep patterns are generally different. Women often sleep more than men, and they experience a lighter sleep that is more easily disrupted. Many women also have undiagnosed sleep disorders.

Problems that can disrupt women’s sleep include depression, major life events (such as divorce), pregnancy, hormonal changes related to menopause, sleep disorders — including obstructive sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome — and medical problems like arthritis, back pain, and fibromyalgia.

Both women and men often lose sleep over job-related stress, according to research. (2)

Additional stressors that cause men to lose sleep include life issues regarding marriage or divorce, children, employment, and money. Other causes include sleep disorders, substance abuse, depression, and medical problems like epilepsy and heart disease. Men are also more inclined than women to take sleep for granted and stay up longer than they should.

Snoring is another factor that may prevent you from getting the z’s you need. Nearly 90 million of us snore to some degree at night, according to the NSF, and the reasons behind it may also be related to gender. (3) Men often have air passages that are narrower than women’s, which results in more night noise as the breath is forced through a smaller opening.

Men also tend to drink more alcohol and may imbibe to excess more often than their female counterparts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (4) Because alcohol can relax the muscles in the airway and throat, more snoring — and less sleep for bedmates — are frequent results.

Both women and men can improve their nighttime rest quality by adopting a few sleep best practices. These include adhering to the same wake and sleep schedule every day, powering down electronics at least an hour before bed, keeping the room you snooze in on the cool side (between 60 and 67 degrees is ideal, according to the NSF, (5) and sticking to a relaxing routine before bed, such as a warm bath, having a light snack, and reading quietly before tucking in.

If you believe you need professional advice about your lack of sleep, it’s a good idea to maintain a sleep diary for about a week. This will help your doctor get an accurate picture of your sleep history. Your doctor might recommend a device to keep your air passageways open, or a weight loss plan, based on your individual symptoms and needs.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?


What are your nightly sleep needs? What does sleep do for your health? By understanding your body’s needs, you can improve your sleep schedule and the quality of your waking life.

The importance of sleep

The quality of your sleep at night directly affects your mental and physical health and how well you feel during the day. Sleep impacts your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune function, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!

When you’re scrambling to meet the demands of a busy schedule, though, or just finding it hard to sleep at night, getting by on less hours may seem like a good solution. But even minimal sleep loss can take a substantial toll on your mood, energy, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stress. And over the long-term, chronic sleep loss can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health.

Sleep isn’t merely a time when your body shuts off. While you rest, your brain stays busy, overseeing biological maintenance that keeps your body running in top condition, preparing you for the day ahead. Without enough hours of restorative sleep, you won’t be able to work, learn, create, and communicate at a level even close to your true potential. Regularly skimp on “service” and you’re headed for a major mental and physical breakdown.

The good news is that you don’t have to choose between health and productivity. By addressing any sleep problems and making time to get the sleep you need each night, your energy, efficiency, and overall health will go up. In fact, you’ll likely get much more done during the day than if you were skimping on shuteye and trying to work longer.

Myths and Facts about Sleep

Myth: Getting just one hour less sleep per night won’t affect your daytime functioning.

Fact: You may not be noticeably sleepy during the day, but losing even one hour of sleep can affect your ability to think properly and respond quickly. It also compromises your cardiovascular health, energy, and ability to fight infections.

Myth: Your body adjusts quickly to different sleep schedules.

Fact: Most people can reset their biological clock, but only by appropriately timed cues—and even then, by one or two hours per day at best. Consequently, it can take more than a week to adjust after traveling across several time zones or switching to the night shift at work.

Myth: Extra sleep at night can cure you of problems with excessive daytime fatigue.
Fact: The quantity of sleep you get is important, sure, but it’s the quality of your sleep that you really have to pay attention to. Some people sleep eight or nine hours a night but don’t feel well rested when they wake up because the quality of their sleep is poor.
Myth: You can make up for lost sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekends.
Fact: Although this sleeping pattern will help relieve part of a sleep debt, it will not completely make up for the lack of sleep. Furthermore, sleeping later on the weekends can affect your sleep-wake cycle so that it is much harder to go to sleep at the right time on Sunday nights and get up early on Monday mornings.
Source: Your Guide to Healthy Sleep, The National Institutes of Health

Sleep needs

There is a big difference between the amount of sleep you can get by on and the amount you need to function optimally. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult sleeps less than seven hours per night. In today’s fast-paced society, six or seven hours of sleep may sound pretty good. In reality, though, it’s a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation.

Just because you’re able to operate on six or seven hours of sleep doesn’t mean you wouldn’t feel a lot better and get more done if you spent an extra hour or two in bed.

While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Children and teens need even more. And despite the notion that our sleep needs decrease with age, most older people still need at least seven hours of sleep. Since older adults often have trouble sleeping this long at night, daytime naps can help fill in the gap.

Average Sleep Needs by Age
Age Hours Needed May be appropriate
Newborn to 3 months old 14 – 17 hrs 11 – 19 hrs
4 to 11 months old 12 – 15 hrs 10 – 18 hrs
1 to 2 years old 11 – 14 hrs 9 – 16 hrs
3 to 5 years old 10 – 13 hrs 8 – 14 hrs
6 to 13 years old 9 – 11 hrs 7 – 12 hrs
14 to 17 years old 8 – 10 hrs 7 – 11 hrs
Young adults (18 to 25 years old) 7 – 9 hrs 6 – 11 hrs
Adults (26 to 64 years old) 7 – 9 hrs 6 – 10 hrs
Older adults (65+) 7 – 8 hrs 5 – 9 hrs
Source: National Sleep Foundation

The best way to figure out if you’re meeting your sleep needs is to evaluate how you feel as you go about your day. If you’re logging enough sleep hours, you’ll feel energetic and alert all day long, from the moment you wake up until your regular bedtime.

Think six hours of sleep is enough?

Think again. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, discovered that some people have a gene that enables them to function well on six hours of sleep a night. This gene, however, is very rare, appearing in less than 3% of the population. For the other 97% of us, six hours doesn’t come close to cutting it.

The importance of deep sleep and REM sleep

It’s not just the number of hours you spend asleep that’s important—it’s the quality of those hours. If you give yourself plenty of time for sleep but still have trouble waking up in the morning or staying alert all day, you may not be spending enough time in the different stages of sleep.

[Read: The Science of Sleep: Stages and Cycles]

Each stage of sleep in your sleep cycle offers different benefits. However, deep sleep (the time when the body repairs itself and builds up energy for the day ahead) and mind and mood-boosting REM sleep are particularly important. You can ensure you get more deep sleep by avoiding alcohol, nicotine, and being woken during the night by noise or light. While improving your overall sleep will increase REM sleep, you can also try sleeping an extra 30 minutes to an hour in the morning, when REM sleep stages are longer.

Signs that you’re not getting enough sleep

If you’re getting less than eight hours of sleep each night, chances are you’re sleep deprived. What’s more, you probably have no idea just how much lack of sleep is affecting you.

How is it possible to be sleep deprived without knowing it? Most of the signs of sleep deprivation are much more subtle than falling face first into your dinner plate.

[Read: Sleep Deprivation: Symptoms, Causes, and Effects]

Furthermore, if you’ve made a habit of skimping on sleep, you may not even remember what it feels like to be truly wide-awake, fully alert, and firing on all cylinders. Maybe it feels normal to get sleepy when you’re in a boring meeting, struggling through the afternoon slump, or dozing off after dinner, but the truth is that it’s only “normal” if you’re sleep deprived.

You may be sleep deprived if you…

  • Need an alarm clock in order to wake up on time.
  • Rely on the snooze button.
  • Have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.
  • Feel sluggish in the afternoon.
  • Get sleepy in meetings, lectures, or warm rooms.
  • Get drowsy after heavy meals or when driving.
  • Need to nap to get through the day.
  • Fall asleep while watching TV or relaxing in the evening.
  • Feel the need to sleep in on weekends.
  • Fall asleep within five minutes of going to bed.

How to get the sleep that you need

Whether you’re looking to resolve a specific sleep problem, or just want to feel more productive, mentally sharp, and emotionally balanced during the day, experiment with the following sleep tips to see which work best for you:

Rule out medical causes for your sleep problems. A sleep disturbance may be a symptom of a physical or mental health issue, or a side-effect of certain medications.

Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Support your biological clock by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends.

[Read: How to Sleep Better]

Get regular exercise. Regular exercise can improve the symptoms of many sleep disorders and problems. Aim for 30 minutes or more of activity on most days—but not too close to bedtime.

Be smart about what you eat and drink. Caffeine, alcohol, and sugary foods can all disrupt your sleep, as can eating heavy meals or drinking lots of fluids too close to bedtime.

Get help with stress management. If the stress of managing work, family, or school is keeping you awake at night, learning how to handle stress in a productive way can help you sleep better at night.

Improve your sleep environment. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool, and reserve your bed for just sleeping and sex.

Develop a relaxing bedtime routine. Avoid screens, work, and stressful conversations late at night. Instead, wind down and calm your mind by taking a warm bath, reading by a dim light, or practicing a relaxation technique to prepare for sleep.

Postpone worrying. If you wake during the night feeling anxious about something, make a brief note of it on paper and postpone worrying about it until the next day when it will be easier to resolve.

Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., Lawrence Robinson, and Robert Segal, M.A.

From Young Adults to the Elderly

Babies can sleep through a circus. Older kids may fight bedtime. And teens — good luck getting them out of bed on a weekend.

But what about you — the grown-up? Your sleep life is still changing — and not just because time is passing.

How does sleep work in adulthood? Does it change — for better or worse — as we age? And why do we feel like we never get enough of it?

An average adult needs between 7. 5 and 8 hours of sleep per night. “But many people can function with 6 hours’ sleep, and there also some who need 9 hours or more,” says Sudhansu Chokroverty, MD, professor and co-chair of neurology and program director for clinical neurophysiology and sleep medicine at the New Jersey Neuroscience Institute at JFK Medical Center in Edison, N.J.

“The amount of sleep needed to function the next day varies from individual to individual, and is determined genetically and hereditarily,” says Chokoroverty, who is also a neuroscience professor at Seton Hall University’s School of Health and Medical Sciences.

Grown-Up Sleep

The biggest, most dramatic change in our deep sleep and satisfaction with sleep takes place as we move from adolescence into young adulthood.

“Most adolescents feel like they sleep terrifically, and if you try to wake them up, you’re not even sure they’re alive,” says Robert Simpson, MD, assistant professor in the University of Utah’s division of pulmonary medicine and a sleep medicine specialist. “That’s because they have lots of what we call deep, slow-wave sleep.”

Sleep is broadly split into two big categories: REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, when we’re dreaming, and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep moves through several, progressively deeper stages:

  • Stage I: a light doze, not very restorative
  • Stage II: middle sleep, restorative
  • Stage III: slow-wave deep sleep, the most restorative of all

“There’s a fairly precipitous decline in deep slow-wave sleep through the teen years into the early 20s,” Simpson says. “That tends to be replaced with middle sleep, stage II.”

It’s Not Just You

You’re not just imagining it: As you’ve gotten older, your sleep has probably become less satisfying and less restorative.

To some degree, that may be a part of the natural aging process, but it might also have something to do with your health overall.

“Deterioration in sleep follows general health to a closer degree than it does true chronological age,” Simpson says. “If we track people over time and ask them, ‘How’s your sleep?’ the degree to which it deteriorates or improves over time tends to mirror their overall health.”

Better Health, Better Sleep

As your health improves, your sleep improves — and vice versa.

“There’s a strong bidirectional relationship between sleep and health,” Simpson says. “That’s particularly true of heart conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.”

The amount of sleep adults get in general has been declining over the past few years.

“If you look at the 1960s and 1970s, people reported average sleep times of 8-8.5 hours a night,” Simpson says. “Today, it’s much more likely to be 7-7.5 hours or less.”


Chalk it up to the pace of modern life.

“We lead these frantic lives and we have busy jobs and kids and soccer practice,” Simpson says. “Sleep is what tends to get left out, but that has a lot of ramifications for our overall health.”

Why Does Grandpa Nap All Day?

By the time we reach our senior years, we may have more time for sleep — but once again, we’re not getting it.

There’s a general notion that the elderly need less sleep, but that may not be true, says Simpson, who’s just completed a review of the literature on sleep and aging.

“It turns out that they do get less sleep, but it’s not necessarily because they need less,” he says. “To some extent, their sleep is frustrated by all the issues of aging — a bad hip, a sore back, heart trouble, a knee that’s out of whack.”

Older people also have a tendency to develop something called advanced sleep-phase syndrome, in which the whole rhythm of their circadian clock is off.


“They go to bed much earlier in the evening and wake up much earlier in the morning,” Simpson says. “The system becomes deregulated and loose, and they kind of unlearn the rhythms of sleep.”

Basically, the elderly revert back to the sleep schedule and patterns of very young children.

“They also wake up many more times during the night than younger adults,” Chokroverty says. “This is why they take naps during the day.”

One way to treat this problem is with bright light therapy in the morning and early evening.

“A good blast of sunlight in the late afternoon and early evening, combined with a little exercise, seems to help people push their clock later and, in turn, wake up later,” Simpson says.

Women, Men, and Sleep

For men, sleep problems tend to get progressively worse with age.

“Primary sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, circadian rhythm disturbances, and things like restless legs syndrome-they all are worse in the 30s than in the 20s, worse in the 40s than in the 30s, and so on,” Simpson says. “For men, it’s more or less a linear progression.”


But for a woman, sleep patterns tend to be fairly stable until one of two things happen: They get pregnant or they go through menopause.

“Pregnant women see an increase in sleep problems in the first and last trimester. During the first trimester, sleep problems are caused by hormonal changes, and during the last trimester, the baby is larger and creates pressure on the diaphragm, which creates breathing problems,” Chokroverty says. “The baby also puts pressure on the bladder, so a pregnant woman needs to wake up during the night to urinate. Lower back pain and stress and anxiety during the last trimester also cause sleep disturbances.”

About 25% of pregnant women also have restless legs syndrome — a disorder involving the urge to move the legs to stop unpleasant sensations like prickling or crawling.

And then there’s menopause.

“It truly is cruel,” Simpson says. “Women may have had no problems with sleep their whole lives, except they can’t get any because their children or their job are keeping them up. Then they get the kids raised and the job slows down, and their sleep patterns go absolutely haywire. During menopause, women’s rates of insomnia go through the roof, and their rates of sleep apnea become more or less equivalent to men.”

For these and other sleep disruptions, Simpson advocates trying alternative options before turning to medications.“Instead, start by treating sleep problems with things like breathing exercises, yoga, improving your sleep hygiene by creating a more restful environment in your bedroom, and cognitive and behavioral therapy,” Simpson says.

How many hours of sleep are enough?

How many hours of sleep are enough for good health?

Answer From Eric J. Olson, M.D.

The amount of sleep you need depends on various factors — especially your age. While sleep needs vary significantly among individuals, consider these general guidelines for different age groups:

Age group Recommended amount of sleep
Infants 4 months to 12 months 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours, including naps
1 to 2 years 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours, including naps
3 to 5 years 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours, including naps
6 to 12 years 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours
13 to 18 years 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours
Adults 7 or more hours a night

In addition to age, other factors can affect how many hours of sleep you need. For example:

  • Sleep quality. If your sleep is frequently interrupted, you’re not getting quality sleep. The quality of your sleep is just as important as the quantity.
  • Previous sleep deprivation. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.
  • Pregnancy. Changes in hormone levels and physical discomfort can result in poor sleep quality.
  • Aging. Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults. As you get older, however, your sleeping patterns might change. Older adults tend to sleep more lightly, take longer to start sleeping and sleep for shorter time spans than do younger adults. Older adults also tend to wake up multiple times during the night.

For kids, getting the recommended amount of sleep on a regular basis is linked with better health, including improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, the ability to control emotions, quality of life, and mental and physical health.

For adults, getting less than seven hours of sleep a night on a regular basis has been linked with poor health, including weight gain, having a body mass index of 30 or higher, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and depression.

If you’re concerned about the amount of sleep you or your child is getting, talk to your doctor or your child’s doctor.

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Show references

  1. Brain basics: Understanding sleep. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep. Accessed March 31, 2021.
  2. Paruthi S, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for pediatric populations: A consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2016; doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.5866.
  3. Landon MB, et al., eds. Maternal physiology. In: Gabbe’s Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 8th ed. Elsevier; 2021. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 31, 2021.
  4. Cirelli C. Insufficient sleep: Definition, epidemiology, and adverse outcomes. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed March 31, 2021.
  5. Kryger MH, et al., eds. Normal sleep. In: Atlas of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2nd ed. Saunders Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 31, 2021.
  6. Watson NF, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: A joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. 2015; doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.4758.

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What Time Should You Go to Sleep Based on Your Age?

The average amount of sleep (called sleep needs) required for an individual fluctuates over their lifetime. Sleep needs are heavily based on age. In order to meet specific sleep needs, what is an appropriate time to go to sleep in order to meet the targeted number of hours for adequate rest?

Let’s explore how much sleep is needed based on age, suggested bedtimes, what may be causing difficulty in meeting bedtimes, and tips on falling asleep. 

Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin

How Much Sleep You Need

When considering reasonable bedtimes for an individual, the amount of sleep required to wake up feeling refreshed, or the sleep need, is taken into account. Sleep needs are often determined by age, although a person’s genetics and environment, medical, and behavioral conditions can affect their need.

Sleep experts recommend that adults obtain between seven to nine hours of sleep, or an average of eight hours, for optimal health.

Uncommonly, adults may fall into two categories: short sleepers and long sleepers. A short sleeper can be alright with getting less than the average recommended hours of sleep (less than seven hours). Long sleepers need more than the average recommended hours of sleep, or above nine hours, in order to feel well-rested.

For young adults and people recovering from sleep debt, sleeping more than nine hours a night might be beneficial. Sleep deprivation, or not getting sufficient sleep, is associated with various negative health outcomes including depression, heart disease, obesity, and weight gain.

Children require more sleep than adults to feel adequately rested. Through childhood and over the lifespan, the average amount of sleep required changes.

Recommendations by Age

The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following:

  • Newborns (0 to 3 months): Should average 14 to 17 hours of sleep a day, including naps.
  • Infants (4 to 11 months): Should average 12 to 15 hours of sleep per day, including naps.
  • Toddlers (12 to 35 months): Should average 11 to 14 hours, including naps.
  • Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): Should average 10 to 13 hours per day.
  • School-age children (6 to 13 years): Should average nine to 11 hours per day.
  • Teenagers (14 to 17 years): Should average eight to 10 hours per day.
  • Younger adults (18 to 25 years old): Should average seven to nine hours per day.
  • Adults (26 to 64): Should average seven to nine hours per day.
  • Older adults (age 65 and over): Should average seven to nine hours per day.

Setting a Bedtime

Generally, setting a bedtime can be done by using the average number of hours of sleep needed to meet sleep needs and counting backward from the desired wake time.

For instance, if assuming that the desired wake time is between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m.:

  • Infants may be put to bed when sleepy, between about 7:00 and 8:00 p.m.
  • Toddlers may be put to bed between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m.
  • Preschool children may be put to bed 8:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Considering that wake times shift because of school or work schedules, and the time needed to get ready for the day, wake time may be closer to 5:00 to 7:00 a.m., resulting in these suggested bed times:

  • School-age children should go to bed between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m.
  • Teenagers, for adequate sleep, should consider going to bed between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m.
  • Adults should try to go to sleep between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m.

With fluctuating schedules, wake times, and even sleep needs, these bedtimes are not set for everyone. Individual needs vary.

Despite age and sleep need, having a consistent wake time, even on the weekends, is important for better sleep.

Difficulties Meeting Bedtime

It is normal to occasionally experience some difficulty in meeting bedtimes or falling asleep. If trouble falling asleep becomes a pattern, you could possibly be dealing with insomnia.

Insomnia in Children

Children having difficulty falling asleep may be experiencing behavioral insomnia. There are two types of behavioral insomnia—sleep-onset and limit-setting. Sleep-onset insomnia is exacerbated by the presence of a parent when the child is falling asleep, but the absence after waking.

Like insomnia in adults, trouble falling asleep can be influenced by the sleep environment. The presence of a parent while the child is falling asleep, especially for soothing activities like rocking and singing, can become a part of the child’s conditioned sleep environment.

The best way to address sleep-onset insomnia is to have the parent break the association of this presence. Varying soothing techniques, allowing the child to self-soothe after waking in the night, or even letting the child “cry it out” can be effective techniques to break this behavior.

Limit-setting insomnia most commonly develops from a caregiver’s inability or unwillingness to set consistent bedtime rules and enforce a regular bedtime. The problem is often exacerbated by the child’s oppositional behavior.

Resetting boundaries is the best way to relieve limit-setting insomnia. By enforcing a consistent bedtime, refusing unreasonable demands before sleep, and scheduling a quiet activity 20 to 30 minutes before sleep, boundaries can be set and children can obtain the proper amount of sleep they require.

Insomnia in Adults

For adults, there are various subtypes of insomnia that work differently in making falling asleep difficult. Insomnia can be due to an individual’s genetics or can be related to various sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, or psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Insomnia can cause symptoms like fatigue and daytime sleepiness, poor attention and concentration, reduced energy and motivation, and even increased suicide risk.

Luckily, there are various routes to treat insomnia in adults. Sleeping pills can be useful as a temporary solution, and if you desire to avoid medications, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTI) could be a good option.      

Tips and Tricks

Falling asleep and meeting a bedtime can be done effectively when implementing the following tips.

A Good Sleep Environment

Your bedroom is very influential in optimizing your sleep and ability to fall asleep. For a good sleep environment, a generally quiet surrounding is beneficial. A cool and dark room is recommended, although this can be adjusted based on personal preference.

Making sure you are comfortable, like ensuring you have a comfy mattress and bedding, and ridding the space of stressors, will help in falling asleep.

A Nighttime Routine

Having a consistent bedtime routine and implementing relaxation techniques can also be helpful in initiating your desire to fall asleep at the appropriate time. A night routine prepares your mind and body for sleep, helping you begin the process of unwinding and relaxing before full rest.

Some activities that could be done during your night routine are reading, listening to music, stretching, or taking a bath. It is best to avoid over-stimulating activities before bed, like watching television or participating in aerobic exercise.

Cell phones and electronics should be avoided as much as possible. The artificial light from the screen can contribute to shifting sleep timing and make it difficult to fall asleep.

Good Sleep Hygiene

Maintaining good sleep hygiene, which includes habits surrounding sleep during the day and before bed, can help in meeting your bedtime goal. Avoiding naps during the day is a helpful part of maintaining good sleep hygiene. Naps decrease overall sleep debt, which will reduce the drive to go to sleep.

Avoid spending time in bed awake or doing activities in bed like reading or watching television for good sleep hygiene. As much as possible, try to avoid associating your bed and sleep environment with wakefulness. Lastly, having a consistent wake time and, of course, a consistent bedtime, can help in falling asleep.

A Word From Verywell

The amount of sleep we need changes with our age. Determining this is helpful in setting appropriate bedtimes and wake times. By staying consistent with bedtimes and wake times, maintaining a good sleep environment, sticking to a nighttime routine, and having good sleep hygiene, you can effectively obtain the sleep you need to remain healthy and well-rested.

If you are interested in discovering more about optimal bedtimes according to your age and sleep needs, consult a board-certified sleep medicine physician.

How Many Hours of Sleep Does an Adult Need by Age

Sleep needs vary by age, and it’s common knowledge that the recommended amount of sleep for a toddler is different than that required by the same child’s parents—or even their grandparents. But how do you determine the number of hours of recommended sleep for you specifically? There are a few different strategies and some general guidelines for how much sleep is needed by age.

Sleep calculators

Sleep calculators are free, widely available online, and can help you plan for your optimal bedtime. Most sleep calculators work by counting the number of recommended sleep cycles. One sleep cycle usually lasts about 90 to 120 minutes, and a healthy night of restful sleep typically consists of four to six sleep cycles, so it’s a matter of using simple math and determining where you are in your sleep cycle.

The no-alarm-clock test

There have probably been times in your life when you’ve fallen asleep at a reasonable time and then woken up naturally, with no morning alarm. Maybe it was during a vacation when you went to bed, woke up because of nothing but your own internal clock, and felt remarkably refreshed. This is what happens when your body is allowed to take as much time necessary to get the amount of sleep it needs. It’s a great feeling!

Try it out for yourself. Pick a night where you can wake up the next morning at whatever time you want. Avoid alcohol and caffeine that afternoon and evening, and take note of how many hours you actually sleep later that night. When your body is allowed to simply sleep, you may get a more accurate idea of the number of hours you actually need. If you have been running a sleep deficit, you may need to do this for several consecutive nights before you determine your base sleep need.

Straight from the source: Sleep Needs by Age

If you’re interested in a little more guidance on how many hours of sleep is right for you based on your age, there are recommendations listed below, according to age group.

Adults, age 20-29 years old

With high school behind us, our adult sleep foundations are often laid out during this time in our lives, and it is recommended that adults in this age range get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

At this point in our lives, there are days—or years—where sleep is viewed as a choice, or even a luxury. Sometimes that means pulling an all-nighter for school. Or, we stay late at the office and get up early to do it all over again for months at a time, thinking our extreme dedication to our profession will help us get ahead. It turns out that getting adequate hours of quality sleep on a consistent basis may be the better bet!

This is also a time in life when many people become parents for the first time. Caring for infant children and their erratic sleep schedules, whether you work outside the home or not, can do a number on the quality of your sleep.

Adults, age 30-39 years old

Humans don’t really outgrow their need for sleep. Instead, sleep may seem to get harder and harder to come by, or we tend to prioritize it less. Still, people in their 30s should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. And, there are some helpful things you can do for your family’s sleep health.

You may have a parent or older relative that has been formally diagnosed with sleep apnea. Perhaps they use a CPAP to breathe consistently at night, and you may be wondering if hereditary factors will give you the same fate some day. Whether or not you’ll develop sleep apnea yourself depends on genetics, lifestyle, environment, and physiology.

If you or your bed partner have noticed you have particularly loud snoring, gasp for breath at night, or are often mysteriously tired during the day, it’s worth getting checked for sleep apnea.

It’s also wise to start monitoring the sleep habits of your young children, as there isn’t an arbitrary age limit as far as when sleep apnea can occur. Studies have suggested that as many as 25 percent of kids who are diagnosed with ADHD may in fact have symptoms of sleep apnea. And, chronically interrupted and fragmented sleep may be the cause behind symptoms like learning difficulties and behavior issues. Chronic snoring in children should always prompt testing for sleep apnea.

Adults, age 40-64 years old

Sleep patterns and habits laid out earlier in our lives tend to follow us through adulthood. The recommended number of hours of sleep each night for this age bracket is-—surprise!—between seven and nine hours. Continue to use sleep calculators and the no-alarm test to pinpoint what your optimal amount of sleep is. The variations within the sleep need range differ from one individual to the next.

It is often within this age period that women start to experience signs of menopause. Fluctuations in estrogen levels can interrupt sleep, and 61 percent of menopausal women reported symptoms of insomnia, which may be caused by unrecognized sleep apnea. Weight gain, loss of muscle tone, and other causes of snoring and sleep apnea also increase for women during this time.

Adults, age 65 and older

It’s a bit of a myth that we require much less sleep as we age. Those over the age of 65 should aim for between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.

A common observation is that seniors just aren’t sleeping as much as adults of younger ages, but the change really isn’t that drastic. This shift in sleep is due to changes in their “sleep architecture” – how sleep phases play out during the course of an evening. Deep, slow-wave sleep may be reduced. Instances of insomnia are also higher among older adults, which again may be due to sleep apnea.

The circadian rhythms of a more aged population are slightly different than adults of younger ages. A shift may occur in this rhythm, called advanced sleep phase syndrome, causing the elderly to become more tired earlier in the evening and to wake up earlier in the morning. The reason why this happens as we age is not fully understood, but it may be due to changes within the eye (such as clouding of the lens) that affect light perception.

Regaining sleep deficits

If you think you’re operating under a sleep deficit, there are a few things you can do. Many people try to catch up on their sleep to repay their sleep debt by sleeping in on the weekend. This works sometimes, but not always, especially if the deficit is too great. A more sustainable, long-lasting solution is to start out by simply going to bed a little earlier each night on weeknights. Even if you start out with just 15 extra minutes of extra sleep, it can add up.

Other tips for eliminating your sleep deficit include sticking to a regular schedule of when you go to bed and especially when you get up. Avoid alcohol and caffeine at least  four hours before bedtime, and get into a state of relaxation before bed that doesn’t involve screens.

Chronic sleep deprivation and sleep-disordered breathing (like snoring and sleep apnea) have been linked to many health issues and chronic conditions, including diabetes, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Taking care to monitor your breathing patterns and sleep quality can do wonders for your overall sleep health.

When you make sleep a priority, you’re giving yourself the gift of better health and a longer life.  

Brandon R. Peters, M.D., is board-certified in both neurology and sleep medicine and currently practices at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. He is also a Clinical Affiliate at Stanford University’s School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. His latest book, Insomnia Solved, is available on Amazon.

90,000 How much sleep do people of different ages need

Let’s sleep off in the next world!

People’s Hope

Indeed, why spend about a third of your life on sleep, if the “lost” time can be used for good purposes? For example, declare on the grid: “Go! I created! “. Or read the synopsis. In the first case, we play and relax the brain, and in the second, we enrich it. It would seem a profit! But the science of sleep says the opposite: lack of sleep does not give the brain proper rest and leads to a decrease in cognitive functions, a deterioration in reaction and memory lapses.

The situation is aggravated by the fact that people cannot soberly assess the weakening of their mental and physical abilities, believing that they are in optimal condition. Thus, a sleep deprived person begins to lose a competitive advantage, at least over himself, but normally sleeping. Hours of missed sleep will inevitably have a negative impact on everyone’s professional and personal life.

You’ve probably heard that the sleep rate for an adult fluctuates around 7-8 hours a day.Is it really? Maybe you need to add a little or, conversely, subtract? And how much sleep is necessary in childhood, adolescence and adolescence? The answers to these questions are presented in a detailed study by the National Sleep Foundation, USA, a non-profit organization with a 25-year history of studying sleep-related phenomena.

A group of 18 researchers studied more than 300 (!) Scientific works in the field of sleep and made on their basis a number of conclusions about the rate of rest.

This is the first time that any professional body has developed age-specific sleep duration guidelines based on a rigorous systematic review of the worldwide scientific literature regarding the effects of sleep duration on health, performance and safety.

Charles Czeisler

Professor at Harvard School of Medicine

As expected, the younger a person, the more sleep his body needs to rest. So, newborns should sleep up to 2/3 days, while for older people seven hours will be enough.

Age Sleep, h
Newborns (0–3 months) 14–17
Infants (4–11 months) 12–15
Toddlers (1–2 years old) 11–14
Preschoolers (3–5 years old) 10–13
School children (6–13 years old) 9–11
Adolescents (14–17 years old) 8–10
Young adults (18–25 years old) 7–9
Adults (26–64 years old) 7–9
Seniors (65+) 7-8

The report by Charles and colleagues confirms the previously announced 7-9 hour sleep schedule.Of course, this is an average figure, which will seem too exaggerated to some, for example, supporters of polyphasic sleep. But science does not have reliable information confirming the safety of such relaxation techniques.

But scientists boldly say that a lot of sleep is also harmful. Stick to the norm, and your remaining 15-17 hours of wakefulness will be marked by quality, benefit and pleasure!

But what if the dream does not come at all? Find out 30 ways to get rid of insomnia.

Healthy sleep: how many hours to sleep and why sleep deprivation is dangerous

Not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain, heart problems and even depression. We will tell you how much time children and adults need to sleep and how to improve sleep.


Sleep is an essential part of a healthy life. Adults should sleep regularly for 7 or more hours a day.Some, in particular young people and people with chronic diseases, need even more – 9 hours of sleep per night. Only a small number of people get enough sleep less than 6 hours a night. This is due to genetic factors.

How much sleep


Sleeping less than 7 hours a day increases your risk of developing chronic diseases, in particular:

  • diabetes;
  • cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure;
  • weight gain and obesity;
  • disorders of the immune system;
  • deterioration in mental health, depression.

Also, not getting enough sleep can affect your decision-making ability, increase the risk of accidents on the road, and lead to mistakes.


Your behavior during the day, especially before bed, affects the quality of your sleep. Even a few minor adjustments in some cases can radically change the situation.

Several good habits can help you sleep better:

Stay asleep

Go to bed and wake up at the same time.Even on weekends.

Create a soothing atmosphere

The quiet, dark, relaxing atmosphere and comfortable cool temperature in the bedroom will help you sleep. Do not turn on bright lights in the evening.

Remove accessories

Move electronic devices, in particular TVs, computers, smartphones, from the bedroom, or at least turn them off 30 minutes before bed.

Monitor your diet

Avoid caffeine (within 6 hours before bedtime), alcohol (within 4 hours before bedtime), and large amounts of food before bedtime.Eat a healthy diet throughout the day.

Do not drink before bedtime

Quenching your thirst before bed can and should be done, but drinking too much can cause sleep problems.

Do not smoke

Don’t start smoking or quit this bad habit. In any case, do not smoke immediately before bedtime.


Being physically active during the day will help you fall asleep more easily at night.

Use the bed only for sleeping

Don’t eat in bed, watch TV, or work.

Also, stay awake if you don’t feel sleepy. In case you cannot fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed.

Do you have a habit of napping during the day? Limit this time to 45 minutes.

If you have trouble sleeping, see your doctor.


90,000 How many hours do you need to sleep based on your age – [SayYes]

Regardless of age, it is important to have a sound and healthy sleep.The amount and quality of sleep we get depends directly on the energy we spend during the day. Sleep is very important for health and directly affects the functioning of the cardiovascular system. The quality of sleep is especially important for people with chronic diseases.

According to experts from the National Sleep Institute, although there are certain principles for determining the amount of sleep for a person, it is difficult to adhere to the same standards in this matter. Rather, an individual measurement system operates here.It is determined partly by genetics, partly by a person’s health and the quality of their sleep. Also, you should remember that any sleep in the morning, afternoon, evening or night is added to the total amount of sleep per day. Therefore, if you fall asleep in the afternoon for an hour to a boring movie, then this dream of yours is summed up in a day.

The amount of sleep a person of a certain age needs per night, according to the National Sleep Institute:

  • Newborns – 0-3 months -14-17 hours – You may think that they do not sleep so much, but they really are.
  • Infant – 4-11 months – 12-15 hours
  • A child who begins to walk – 1 – 2 years old – 11-14 hours
  • Preschoolers 3-5 years old – 10-13 hours
  • Pupils 6-12 years old – 9-11 hours
  • Teenagers – 13-17 years old – 8-10 hours. Those teens who don’t get enough sleep tend to spend their weekends in bed.
  • Adults – 18-25 years old – 7-9 hours
  • Adults 26-64 years old – 7-9 hours
  • Elderly people 65+ -7-8 hours

Signs that you are not getting enough sleep:

  • You are not productive during the day.
  • You are overweight or gaining weight rapidly.
  • Your body cannot function all day without caffeine.
  • Inhibited reaction, in particular when driving.

Sleep Phases:

REM sleep. If you wake up and can remember your dream in detail, that explains why you are so exhausted and tired even after sleeping a little. This means that you are not resting at all and may need a sound and slow sleep.

  1. Stage 1 – Sleep – This stage will help you get some rest, but will not replace a good night’s sleep.
  2. Stage 2 – Sleep of slow depth – this phase of sleep is sufficient to restore strength and rest.
  3. Stage 3 – Slow phase of sleep – deep and sound sleep, which better than anyone else helps our body to recover. Unfortunately, as we age, sleep quality degrades over time.

In addition to age, gender and health status, the need for rest, proper sleep and its quality play an important role.In general, men have more problems with sleep disturbances such as choking and restless legs syndrome. Women also have difficulty sleeping, especially after pregnancy and menopause. If you have any sleep disorder, see a specialist.

Getting ready for bed is as important as sleeping.

Even after a tiring day, it is not always possible to fall asleep quickly. However, there are ways to speed up the process of falling asleep.

  • Correct daily routine.
  • Any habit before bed, whether it’s taking a hot bath or reading your favorite book.
  • Daily Charge.
  • Make sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Turn off the TV.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.

If you suffer from insomnia, there are additional ways you can try. For example, teas with chamomile and valerian root, as a last resort, you can purchase special medicines that fight insomnia.Be healthy and enjoy your dreams!

90,000 How much do children need to sleep, and how much

The amount of sleep required for children and adults varies and this is important to consider.

The US National Sleep Foundation has published information on the optimal amount of sleep for all age groups, from newborns to the elderly. According to experts, the amount of sleep varies greatly depending on the number of years lived.

Newborns up to 3 months . On average, newborns need to sleep from 14 to 17 hours a day, but there are individual deviations from 11 hours to 19.

Infants 4-11 months . Babies already need less sleep, they begin to adapt to night sleep, so they need less daytime sleep. The optimal sleep time at this age is about 15 hours, although some babies can get by as much as ten hours.

Babies from 1 to 2 years old . The ideal amount of sleep for these babies is 12-15 hours. If children sleep less, they will be hyperactive during their waking hours.

Preschoolers from 3 to 5 years old . At this age, the optimal sleep duration is reduced to 10-13 hours. Sleeping less than 8 hours will affect their behavior.

Pupils from 6 to 13 years old . The ideal sleep time for elementary school students is 7 to 12 hours.At this age, children need to assimilate a large amount of information, and the process of writing into long-term memory is activated during sleep, so the more a student absorbs information, the more sleep he needs to assimilate it.

Adolescents from 14 to 17 years old. This life span is characterized by the play of hormones, in order to cope with it, a teenager needs at least 8-9 hours of sleep.

Adults from 18 to 64 years old .In adulthood, the amount of sleep fits the well-known figure of 7-9 hours, but sleeping less than 6 hours can have dangerous health consequences.

Source: MedicForum.

As Kubanskie Novosti reported, experts named five drinks that help to fall asleep as soon as possible.

90,000 10 facts about the importance of sleep for health

  • Rachel Schraer, Joey Durso
  • BBC

Photo by Getty Images

In countries where this Sunday the clock is switched from summer time to winter time, people will get an extra hour of sleep.But how much do we really know about sleep and its effect on various areas of our lives?

1. The well-known “eight hours of sleep”

You often hear that you need to sleep eight hours a day. This is the recommendation from national health organizations around the world, from the UK’s NHS to the US National Sleep Foundation. But where did this advice actually come from?

Studies conducted in different countries to determine how often diseases affect different groups of the population come to the same conclusion: people who suffer from insufficient sleep, like those who sleep too much, are more susceptible to multiple diseases and live in the average is less.

However, it is difficult to say whether sleep disorders are the cause of illness, or vice versa – a symptom of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Sleep too short is usually less than six hours, and too much sleep is more than nine to ten hours.

Children under puberty are usually advised to sleep up to 11 hours a night, and babies up to 18 hours a night. The night’s sleep for teenagers is believed to be up to 10 hours.

Shane O’Mara, professor of experimental brain research at Trinity College Dublin, says that while it is difficult to say with certainty whether sleep deprivation is a cause or a consequence of poor health, the two are mutually reinforcing.

For example, people who do not pay enough attention to physical exercise sleep worse, which makes them more tired and, as a result, does not have the energy to go in for sports – and so on.

We know that scientists have linked chronic sleep deprivation – that is, sleep deprivation for one or two hours over extended periods of time – to poor health over and over again: you don’t have to stay up for several days in a row to notice the negative effects of sleep deprivation.

2. What happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep?

Lack of sleep can lead to a number of diseases.

Results from 153 studies involving more than five million people clearly link lack of sleep to diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease and obesity.

Studies have shown that a lack of sleep for just a few nights in a row can lead a healthy person to pre-diabetes.Moderate sleep deprivation reduces the body’s ability to control blood glucose levels.

With insufficient sleep, the effectiveness of vaccines decreases, lack of sleep has a devastating effect on immunity, making us vulnerable to infections.

In one study, participants who slept less than seven hours were three times more likely to catch colds than those who slept seven or more hours.

People with sleep deprivation have produced too much ghrelin, the hormone responsible for hunger, and not enough leptin, the satiety hormone, which increases the risk of obesity.

There is also a connection between lack of sleep and decreased brain activity and even, in the long term, dementia.

Professor O’Mara explains that toxic substances accumulate in the brain during the day and are removed during sleep. If you don’t sleep long enough, your condition “resembles a mild concussion.”

The effect of sleeping too long has been less studied, but it is also known to be associated with a number of disorders, including brain impairment in older people.

3. Different types of sleep help the body recover

Our sleep consists of cycles, which are divided into several stages. Each cycle lasts 60 to 100 minutes. Each stage plays a role in numerous processes that continue in our body while we sleep.

The first stage in each cycle is a drowsy, relaxed state between wakefulness and sleep. Breathing slows down, muscles relax, pulse slows down.

The second is a slightly deeper sleep, during which you can sleep, but still assume that you are awake.

The third stage is deep sleep, when it is very difficult to wake up, any activity in the body at this moment is at a minimum level.

The second and third stages enter the phase of slow wave sleep, usually at this time a person does not see dreams.

After deep sleep, we return to the second stage for a few minutes, and then move on to the REM sleep phase, which is usually accompanied by dreams.

Thus, during a full sleep cycle, a person goes through all stages from the first to the third, then briefly returns to the second stage, and then the fourth stage begins – the REM sleep phase.

In the course of the following cycles, the length of the REM sleep phase increases, so the lack of sleep affects it to a greater extent.

4. People with sleep disorders who work in shifts are more likely to get sick

Shift work can cause a large number of health problems. Researchers have found that those who work shifts and sleep too little at the wrong times may have an increased risk of diabetes and obesity.

Shift workers are significantly more likely to rate their health as poor or fair, a 2013 NHS study found.

Scientists have also found that people in this group are much more likely to suffer from chronic diseases than those working on a standard schedule.

Those who work in shifts are much more likely to miss work due to illness, statistics show.

This gap is even greater between those who engage in physical and mental work, and in addition, lack of sleep seems to be more affecting those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

5. Many of us suffer from sleep deprivation more than ever

Based on media reports, one would think that we are seized by an epidemic of lack of sleep.But has the rate of sleep deprivation really increased?

Research in 15 countries gave a very mixed picture. In six countries, scientists recorded a decrease in the duration of sleep, in seven – an increase, and two more countries gave conflicting results.

There is ample evidence that the duration of sleep has changed little over the past several generations. However, if you ask people how they rate their lack of sleep, a different picture emerges.

So why are so many people reporting tiredness? This may be due to the fact that the problem affects certain groups, and the general trend is difficult to identify.

Sleep problems vary significantly by age and gender, according to a study of 2,000 British adults. In the course of it, it turned out that women of almost any age suffer more from lack of sleep than men.

In adolescence, the indicators more or less coincide, but then women begin to suffer much more from lack of sleep – this may be due to the appearance of children. Then the gap closes again.

Caffeine and alcohol affect the duration and quality of sleep.

Regular late bedtime due to work or socializing results in people getting less rest despite sleeping the same number of hours, explains Professor Derk-Jan Dijk of the Center for Sleep Research at the University of Surrey.

In addition, some may sleep too little during the week and sleep on weekends, increasing the average number of hours of sleep. In the end, however, these people still suffer from sleep deprivation.

Adolescents can be particularly affected by sleep deprivation, says Professor Dyck.

6. We did not always sleep the way we do now

Except for unusual cases (Margaret Thatcher, for example, could get a good night’s sleep in four hours), people generally go to bed in the evening, seven or eight hours.

But that wasn’t always the norm, says Roger Ekirch, professor of history at Virginia Tech. In 2001, he published a scientific paper based on the results of 16 years of research.

In his book When the Day Ends, it is stated that hundreds of years ago, people in many parts of the world slept in two stages.

Ekirch found more than two thousand testimonies in diaries, court records and literature that prove that people went to bed soon after dusk, then stayed awake for several hours at night – and went to bed again.

In his opinion, this means that the body has a natural preference for “segmented sleep”.

Not all scientists agree with him. Some researchers have found modern hunter-gatherer communities that do not divide sleep into two stages, although they do not have electric lighting.That is, “segmented sleep” is not necessarily the default natural norm.

According to Ekirkh, the transition from biphasic to monophasic sleep took place in the 19th century. Then the possibility of lighting houses led to the fact that people began to go to bed later, while waking up at the same time as before. Improvements in lighting led to changes in the biological clock, and the industrial revolution required more productivity from people.

7. Phones prevent teenagers from sleeping

Sleep experts say teenagers need to sleep up to 10 hours a day, but almost half of them sleep significantly less, according to the British health system.

Bedrooms should be a resting place, but there are more and more distractions such as laptops and mobile phones. All this complicates the process of going to bed.

We have more variety of entertainment than ever, and the end result is the temptation to stay awake more.

The blue light emitted from electronic devices makes us less sleepy. And the activity itself – talking with friends or watching TV – stimulates our brain when it needs to relax.

Experts recommend practicing “digital detox” – turning off electronic devices 90 minutes before going to bed.

Statistics show that most young people continue to check their phones after they go to bed.

8. Research on sleep disorders is growing

More and more people turn to doctors with complaints about sleep problems.

Analyzing data from the British health system in June, the BBC found that the number of studies on sleep disorders has grown every year over the past decade.

There are several factors, but obesity seems to be the most important, says neurologist Guy Leschziner. The most common complaint, according to his observation, is obstructive sleep apnea – a violation of breathing during sleep, which is closely related to the problem of excess weight.

The media also played a role, as people are more likely to see a therapist after reading an article about sleep problems or searching the internet for symptoms, he says.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the recommended treatment for insomnia, and doctors are increasingly finding that pills should not be prescribed in such cases.However, many still do this, since not everyone has the opportunity to undergo treatment without medication, especially outside the big cities.

9. Are there differences in different countries?

One study examined the sleep-related habits of people in 20 industrialized countries. It turned out that the time when people go to bed and wake up can vary up to an hour in one direction or another, but in general in different countries it was approximately the same.

As a rule, if, on average, residents of a country went to bed later, they woke up later, although not in all cases.

Researchers concluded that social factors – working hours, school schedules, leisure habits – play a greater role than darkness or daylight hours.

In Norway, where nighttime hours can range from zero to 24 hours, sleep duration varies by an average of only half an hour throughout the year.

Both in countries such as Britain, where the times of sunrise and sunset are highly dependent on the time of year, and in countries closer to the equator, where this difference is minimal, the duration of sleep remains constant throughout the year.

What about the effect of artificial lighting?

A study of three communities without access to electricity in three countries – Tanzania, Namibia and Bolivia – found that the average sleep time there is about 7.7 hours.That is, the same as in industrialized countries.

Thus, the duration of sleep is approximately the same throughout the world. In these communities, they also went to bed not as soon as it got dark, but fell asleep about three hours after sunset – and woke up before dawn.

Most studies show that, yes, artificial light delays sleep time, but does not necessarily shorten sleep time.

10. “Skylarks” and “owls”

There have always been “morning” and “evening” people.We even have genetic evidence to support this.

Artificial light seems to exacerbate this effect – especially for people who prefer to go to bed later. If you’re already prone to being an “owl,” artificial light will push you to go to bed even later.

About 30% of us tend to be early risers and 30% to be owls, and the remaining 40% are somewhere in between – although a little more of them tend to get up earlier than go to bed later.

In this case, we can partially control our biological clock. Those who are accustomed to getting up and going to bed later may try to rebuild and get more daylight.

A team of researchers selected a group of volunteers in Colorado who were denied access to artificial light sources. And only 48 hours was enough to move their biological clock forward by almost two hours.

The levels of melatonin, a hormone that tells the body to prepare for sleep, began to rise earlier in the volunteers, and their bodies began to prepare for sleep closer to sunset.

Is it true that with age a person needs less time to sleep

  • Claudia Hammond
  • BBC Future

Photo author, Getty

It is generally accepted that the older a person gets, the the less he needs sleep. But, as the columnist found out

BBC Future , ​​there may be very different reasons for early climbs.

Older people often complain of sleep problems.Half of them experience sleep disturbances, and a quarter to a third suffer from insomnia.

Apparently, there are two main difficulties: falling asleep in the evening and not waking up too early in the morning – so that you can no longer sleep.

In some cases, sleep disorders are exacerbated by health problems. But many are forced to stay awake (at least part of the night) even in the absence of symptoms of diseases that would prevent them from falling asleep.

Lack of sleep can have long-term effects on immunity and many other health indicators, including overall well-being.

In addition, lack of sleep can lead to drowsiness during the day and an increased risk of accidents.

However, maybe with age people just need less sleep, so there is nothing to worry about?

Photo author, Getty

Photo caption,

The biological clock of older people can prevent them from falling asleep during the day, even if a person really wants it

However, it is much more difficult to establish how much sleep people of different ages really need than it might seem at first sight.

Of course, you can calculate how many hours people actually sleep and see that, on average, older people sleep less than younger people.

However, this only indicates that they sleep less, but not that they require less sleep.

It is sometimes said that older people do not sleep at night because they have time to take a nap during the day. Others, on the other hand, argue that excessive sleepiness during the day should not be considered an inevitable companion of aging.

Doctors often do not take seriously the complaints of retirees about insomnia. One study found that while 69% of older adults reported sleep problems, 81% of these cases did not have a history of sleep disturbance.

Assuming that older people require as much sleep as others, why then do they sleep less?

One of the hypotheses is that in the process of aging, the daily rhythm of the body is disturbed, as a result of which a person wakes up earlier than he should.

Studies have shown that the daily cycle in older people does shift, causing them to get up earlier and go to bed earlier.

Perhaps they still need more sleep, but sleep does not come to them, and even when they do fall into slumber, the quality of sleep is no longer the same as in younger years.

Recently, a new study on this topic was carried out in Russia. One morning 130 people came to the science laboratory and stayed there for the whole day and the next night.

Throughout this time, scientists kept them awake and regularly asked them to rate how sleepy they felt.

The feeling of sleepiness changes during the day and during the night, and in similar experiments based on sleep deprivation, it is assumed that it reflects the processes associated with the body’s biorhythms – such as changes in body temperature during the day and the evening release of the hormone melatonin …

Photo author, Getty

Photo caption,

Decreased production of melatonin with age may affect sleep

In addition, slow-wave brain activity was measured several times during the day and night.

Then all these data were analyzed in conjunction with the sleep diary, which the volunteers had kept during the previous week, to determine how the feeling of sleepiness and slow-wave activity changed depending on the chronotype of the person (the typical nature of daily activity for a given person – Ed.) …

Scientists have re-established that older people and younger people feel sleepy at different times and that they have different slow-wave activity rates.

The author of the study, Arkady Putilov, believes that the reduction in the duration of sleep may be due to the action of two mechanisms.

In his opinion, in middle age, the processes that determine the periods of slow-wave sleep are disrupted, which makes it difficult to sleep. In addition, in the elderly, the circadian rhythm is shifted due to a decrease in the amplitude of changes in body temperature and a decrease in the production of melatonin.

The fact that circadian rhythm disturbances cause sleep disturbances in older people is supported by completely new data from a smartphone app called Entrain.

This application was developed at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (USA) with the aim of making it easier for people to adapt to time zone changes.

Users of the application are prompted to indicate their normal sleep patterns and give permission to provide this data to scientists.

Five thousand people from all over the world agreed to provide data, thanks to which the researchers obtained a general picture of the sleep patterns of people of different ages living in different parts of the world.

Groups of “larks” and “owls” have emerged among the youth. But for older people, the results were more uniform: most of them woke up early and went to bed relatively early.

The study found that men after forty sleep least of all, and this is an unusual result.

However, the fact that older people have a tendency to sleep at a certain time, established in the course of the same experiment, indicates that there are shorter periods of time in the daily cycle of pensioners during which they are able to fall asleep and sleep for several hours.

So, if biorhythm changes prevent older people from falling asleep and keep them awake all the time, maybe the statement that they need less sleep is just a myth? They just have a shorter period of time during which they can sleep.

Perhaps it is not naps during the day that prevents them from falling asleep at night, but the lack of sleep at night makes them sleepy and the need to take a nap during the day to compensate for the lack of sleep.

Author of the photo, Getty

Caption to the photo,

Perhaps a nap is necessary due to the fact that a person does not get enough sleep at night

But the debate does not end there.In a 2008 study at Brigham & Weemen’s Hospital (USA), participants were given the opportunity to sleep 16 hours a night for several days.

People between the ages of 60 and 72 slept an average of 7.5 hours a day, while those in the 18-32 age group managed to sleep almost nine hours a day.

This suggests that young people needed more sleep than older people – or that they had more sleep fatigue because they went to bed later.

The results of this experiment do not allow us to exclude the fact that the biological clock of older people does not allow them to sleep during the day, even if they need to.

However, a new hitch emerged in a follow-up study from the University of Surrey (UK) with the participation of some scientists from the same group.

This time the volunteers were asked to sleep at different times during the day. The elderly again found it more difficult to fall asleep – either their biological clock prevented them from switching off, or they did not accumulate the same sleep deficit as young people.

So now the technicians were artificially creating insufficient sleep for them. They monitored their brain activity throughout the night and each time they detected slow waves, they made a loud noise in the room to interfere with their sleep.

The next day, tired pensioners fell asleep during the day as easily as young people.

This shows that if they really need to sleep, they can do it. Perhaps they don’t usually get that much sleep.

After studying the results of 320 studies, a group of experts invited by the National Sleep Foundation (USA) recommended that adults under the age of 64 get 7-9 hours of sleep a day, and after 65 years – 7-8 hours.

At the same time, the idea that with aging in the human body the processes that determine the circadian rhythm also change seems logical.

So, apparently, it is impossible to unequivocally answer the question whether it is true that older people need less time to sleep.

But we can say with confidence that when in the morning twilight a tired person tosses and turns in bed for long hours, trying in vain to fall asleep, he feels unhappy, and this must be taken seriously.

It should be noted that during

The Cochrane Review of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Sleep Disorders in People Over 60 Years of Age, reviewed the most successful attempts to use it.

It has been found to be effective in some cases and deserves consideration by physicians as an alternative to sleeping pills.

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State Healthcare Institution “Children’s Clinical Medical Center of Chita”

It is sad, but pediatricians more and more often state the fact that modern children do not get enough sleep. A lack of sleep in a child is much more dangerous than a lack of sleep in an adult. Children who sleep significantly less than normal grow more slowly and develop worse than their peers. This is easily explained.

First, growth hormones are produced during sleep.

Secondly, a good sound sleep contributes to better memorization of the information received earlier.

Thirdly, general weakness due to lack of sleep interferes with the full assimilation of information.

In addition, low-sleep children have weakened immunity and the likelihood of developing diseases of the cardiovascular system increases. Lack of sleep children become nervous, absent-minded, fussy. This applies to all children, regardless of their age: 90,026 babies and adolescents should sleep equally well.

Parents are obliged to provide the child with adequate healthy sleep in sufficient quantity.

For children, as well as for adults, the normal amount of sleep is individual. Some of the kids sleep more, some less. The figures given by doctors are average. In general, you need to strive for them. These figures reflect the total amount of sleep per day, that is, taking into account both night sleep and daytime.

– A newborn baby sleeps an average of 18-22 hours a day.
– A baby from 1 to 3 months old sleeps 18-20 hours.
– A baby at 3-4 months old can sleep 17-18 hours.
– A child at 5-6 months old must sleep at least 16 hours.
– A child from 7 to 12 months old sleeps from 14 to 16 hours a day.
– A child from 1 year to one and a half years old must sleep at least 10-11 hours at night and 3-4 hours during the day. In general, at least 14 hours a day.
– A child from one and a half to 2 years old must sleep at least 10-11 hours at night and 2-3 hours during the day.In general, at least 13 hours a day.
– A child from 2 to 3 years old should sleep at least 10-11 hours at night and 2-2.5 hours during the day. In general, at least 12.5 hours a day.
– Children 3-4 years old should sleep at least 10 hours at night and 2 hours during the day. In general, at least 12 hours a day.
– Children from 5 to 7 years old should sleep at least 9-10 hours at night and 1.5-2 hours during the day. In general, at least 10.5-11 hours a day.
– Primary School students may not sleep during the day.They should sleep at least 9 hours at night, preferably 10 hours.
– Teenager needs at least 9 hours of sleep per night.
– High school students should sleep an average of 8 hours a night.

In order for the child to get enough sleep, it is necessary to observe the regimen and put him to bed at the same time. This is especially true for a night’s sleep. Make it a rule to put your child to bed, for example, at 9 pm. And never deviate from this rule. Let there be guests in the house, let the child get carried away with the game, let the parents have business – everything should be postponed for the sake of the child’s sleep.If he gets used to going to bed at the same time, nothing will prevent him from relaxing in time and wanting to sleep. No game will seem more attractive to him than a fresh, warm bed and a cozy pillow.

2. Getting ready for bed, relaxation, rituals.

In order for a child to fall asleep easily and quickly, he should be in a calm atmosphere already an hour or two before bedtime. Noisy games, challenging puzzles, intellectual tasks, cooking homework, playing computer games, watching noisy long movies and cartoons, listening to loud music, etc.etc. – all this should end an hour or two before going to bed. At this time, the kid can calmly play with toys or listen to a fairy tale read by his mother. An older child can read himself, talk to his parents, watch a calm film. Yes, and not so much time will remain for quiet leisure, because direct preparation for bed will require a lot of time. You need to take a shower, brush your teeth, straighten your bed, change into your pajamas, drink some water, etc. The same actions performed day after day before bedtime become a kind of ritual, the performance of which also helps the child to tune in to sleep.And this, in turn, contributes to faster and deeper falling asleep and, as a result, better quality rest. If, for example, a few sips of water before bedtime suddenly become a habit, do not try to wean your child from it. Let this be your helper ritual. If the child is accustomed to the fact that his parents read him a fairy tale, then you need to read, regardless of employment.

3. Lightness in the stomach.

The last meal should be 2 hours before bedtime (this does not apply to infants and children who are breastfed).Shortly before bedtime, the child can drink a cup of tea with 1-2 cookies or a glass of kefir, but not with a high-calorie sandwich. Firstly, with ease in the body, he falls asleep more tightly. Secondly, heavy high-calorie snacks before bed are bad for the stomach.

4. Comfortable atmosphere in the room.

Before putting the child to bed, the room must be well ventilated. If the room is dry, after airing it is worth turning on a humidifier and bringing the humidity level to an acceptable level. When the child goes to bed, you need to turn off the light, you can leave a dim night light if the baby asks about it.Under no circumstances should children be put to sleep with the TV on or a flickering computer monitor. However, you cannot turn on the TV, the overhead light and the sound of the computer speakers even after the child has fallen asleep. Light noises and light may not wake him up, but they will make children’s sleep superficial, because of this, the body will not receive proper rest. If this happens all the time, the baby will show signs of sleep deprivation. That is, he seems to be asleep as much as necessary, but still does not get enough sleep.