The Ideal Amount Of Sleep For Each Age Group, According To The Experts

The Ideal Amount Of Sleep For Each Age Group, According To The Experts

It seems like a question that’s as old as time itself: “How much sleep do I really need?” The non-profit National Sleep Foundation and a panel of 18 prominent medical scientists and researchers reviewed over 300 sleep studies to try and finally answer it.

Picture: rachel CALAMUSA/Flickr

The short answer is, of course, “it depends”. There’s no perfect sleep number that can fit every person, but The National Sleep Foundation’s major report — recently published in their own Sleep Health Journal — has revealed an updated list of sleep duration recommendations for all age groups. Here are the recommendations:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours each day.
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours each day.
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours each day.
  • Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours each day.
  • School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours each day.
  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours each day.
  • Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours each day.
  • Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours each day.
  • Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours each day.

For the largest age range, the adults, the recommended sleep duration has remained unchanged, which makes sense considering that seven hours of sleep may be the sweet spot for many in that range. The report did, however, add two new categories — younger adults and older adults — and the report also recommends a little more sleep across the board to younger individuals. Getting a good night’s rest isn’t always as easy as it feels like it should be, but it can be very important for your health, so make sure you’re getting the sleep you need. You can learn more about the report by checking out the link below.

National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results [Sleep Health Journal via Science Daily]


  • OK. I am 21 year old I have to sleep 7-9 hours each day.
    I always try but I can’t sleep more than 5 hours. what is the reason behind that.

    • You are one of those lucky people who doesn’t need as much sleep as us ‘normal’ folk. I, on the other hand seems to need more sleep than the average, and I hate it.

      • I have to jump in here.

        An alternative possibility is a sleep disorder. This can lead to calamitous health problems in future decades, and is a possibility worth assessing.

    • I am 32 and sleep around 4 to 6 hours most nights. I never really slept more since 18 yrs of age.
      It did not bother me too much when younger but now it takes me hours to feel fully awake, if ever. I feel somewhat zombie’ish for half the day.
      I try to sleep more but end up waking up every 15 minutes so give up. I feel your pain.

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