Some days, you may wake up before your alarm feeling refreshed and alert, while others you’re hitting snooze until the last possible second. Even if you sleep a relatively consistent amount each night, you can feel dramatically different upon waking up.
So how much sleep do you need? The amount of sleep you need is individual to each person, but the National Sleep Foundation has general guidelines based on age.
For example, a toddler may need around 11–14 hours of sleep per night, while their parents may only need 7–9 hours of sleep per night. While there’s no “secret sauce” for how much sleep you really need to wake up feeling rested and refreshed, you can practice good sleep habits to help you get a better night’s sleep.
The amount of sleep you need changes throughout your life. During developmental years, you need much more rest so your body can grow and restore. As you age, the amount of sleep you need decreases. Check out the chart below for a guide to ideal sleeping amounts based on your age.
|Life Stage||Age||Hours of Sleep Needed|
|Newborns||0–3 months||14–17 hours|
|Infants||4–11 months||12–16 hours|
|Toddlers||1–2 years||11–14 hours|
|Young Children||3–5 years||10–13 hours|
|School Children||6–12 years||9–12 hours|
|Teenagers||13–18 years||8–10 hours|
|Young Adults||18–25 years||7–9 hours|
|Adults||25–64 years||7–9 hours|
|Seniors||65+ years||7–8 hours|
It’s important to remember that the amount of sleep needed to feel well-rested can vary from person to person. While some adults can function well on six or seven hours of sleep, others need at least nine to feel like they can properly function. It’s important to evaluate how you feel after waking up to determine the amount of sleep that’s right for your body.
While you sleep, your body goes through sleep cycles, which can be broken down into four phases: N1, N2, N3, and REM sleep. Each stage can be determined by the amount of brain activity occurring while you sleep.
Disclaimer: These are estimates of each sleep stage. The actual length of your sleep stages may vary throughout the night.
In most adults, around 20% of your sleep is deep or REM sleep. This deeper sleep occurs after you’ve been asleep for around 90 minutes, but there isn’t a set time of how much REM sleep you need each night.
Even if you don’t feel tired, you should still be looking out for warning signs of sleep deprivation. Sleep is an integral part of your health, and if you’re not getting enough it can severely impact your long-term health. Here are some warning signs that you might not be spending enough time with your pillow.
If you suffer from sleep deprivation, it can be tough to diagnose the cause and find a solution. Learning how to fall asleep fast isn’t a one-size-fits-all game, which is why you should try different methods to figure out what works for you.
Check out these tips to get better quality sleep and wake up feeling well-rested.
While you can’t turn back time, you can practice good sleep habits to get the most out of your four hours of sleep. You should make sure to avoid stimulants, minimize exposure to blue light, and keep the room at 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit before bed to set yourself up for success while you snooze.
While getting five hours of sleep isn’t ideal, it’s okay once in a while. However, five hours of sleep isn’t enough for most adults long-term, so you shouldn’t plan on a consistent five-hour sleep schedule. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults should be getting around seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
If you’re trying to figure out whether you can adapt to less sleep in the long-term, you may be disappointed. While you can function on less sleep for some time, most adults are at their prime productivity levels when they sleep seven to nine hours per night. However, research has found that “banking” sleep, or racking up extra sleep before a less restful period, can help minimize the adverse effects of sleep deprivation for some time.
Oversleeping is defined as nine or more hours of sleep per night for adults. While oversleeping once in a while isn’t a big deal, consistently spending more than nine hours asleep may be a sign of an underlying health issue, such as a mental condition like depression, or a sleep disorder such as bruxism and sleep apnea.
Sleeping 12 hours as an adult isn’t recommended but can be fine once in a while. The most common reason for a prolonged sleep like this is lack of rest the previous nights.
While sleeping a bit more on weekends isn’t uncommon, consistently sleeping 12 or more hours can be a sign that you’re getting poor sleep during the week — meaning your body might be compensating for reduced quality sleep by spending a longer amount of time in bed.
So how much sleep do you need? Well, the answer is that it depends. A growing child likely needs several more hours of sleep than their parent, but sleep is also unique to each individual. To determine how much sleep you really need, take a look at your sleeping habits to diagnose how well you’re sleeping and determine what you can do to sleep better.