Experts Share How Much Sleep We Really Need Depending on Our Age

Ever wonder how much sleep you need to get each night to maintain a healthy lifestyle? We do, too — especially on those mornings when, upon waking up after a “restful” night’s sleep, we immediately feel the urge to crawl back under the covers. Yep, we all plan to get a good night’s rest, but sometimes life just gets in the way.

Of course, when life doesn’t get in the way and your lack of sleep can be solely blamed on last night’s Netflix binge, it’s probably time that you reassess your strategy. One of the things that works well for us is when we remind ourselves of how much sleep we actually need — and, believe it or not, the number of hours isn’t the same for everyone.

You see, the National Sleep Foundation has compiled numerous studies over the years to come up with optimized recommended sleep standards depending on age. You might have heard something about the recommendations as the organization has been doing this for some time now, but they have made adjustments over the years, which means your information on the subject could be outdated.

Here’s how much sleep you should really be getting, depending on how many candles are on your birthday cake…

  1. Newborns (0-3 months)

    The NSF previously recommended that newborns get 12-18 hours of sleep per day, but it has now changed the standard to 14-17 hours. Ah, to be a newborn again!

  2. Infants (4-11 months)

    Once babies break out of that sleepy newborn stage, they’d pretty much rather do ANYTHING than sleep. Luckily, they only need about 12-15 hours per day to stay healthy.

  3. Toddlers (1-2 years)

    Does your toddler look this awake in her crib when you attempt to put her to sleep? If so, then it may be time to cut down on those naps. Kiddos this age only need around 11-14 hours of rest time per day.

  4. Preschoolers (3-5 years)

    Don’t stress TOO much if your kiddo’s preschool teacher tells you that your little one won’t sleep during nap time. At this age, kids need a lot less sleep — just about 10-13 hours should do.

  5. School-age kids (6-13 years)

    Though your third-grader might SEEM like she is adult enough to manage her own sleep schedule, she should still be getting about 9-11 hours of sleep per night. Best to keep that bedtime intact!

  6. Teenagers (14-17 years)

    While you might not always have the power to keep your teen on a good sleep schedule — that’s a stubborn age! — the NSF recommends that teens in this age range get between 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Maybe enough rest time will help with that teenage crankiness!

  7. Younger Adults (18-25 years)

    It’s recommended that folks in this age range get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night — but we all know that doesn’t always happen once early adulthood hits!

  8. Adults (26-64 years)

    Believe it or not, adults and younger adults need the same amount of sleep — right around 7-9 hours per night. Good luck if you have any kiddos, though!

  9. Older Adults (65+ years)

    Looks like retirees don’t need as much sleep as their younger counterparts. The NSF recommends that folks in this age range only get around 7-8 hours of sleep per day. Surprising!

What are your thoughts on the sleep standards? How many hours of sleep do you get per night? Do you have any tricks for falling asleep?