The amount of sleep you need each night depends on an array of factors. One of the most significant factors when it comes to the amount of sleep you need each night is your age. The average adult should be getting at least seven hours of sleep each night. Teenagers and children should be getting even more sleep each night.
However, the number of hours you sleep for is also going to vary depending on the quality of your sleep. If you’re unable to stay asleep throughout the night or experience other sleep-related issues, then you may need even more than seven hours of sleep per night.
If you’re wondering how many hours of sleep you need a night, you’re in the right place. In this article, we explore the recommended sleeping times for different age groups and take a close look at the other factors that impact your sleep needs. To learn more about how many hours of sleep you need per night, read from start to finish. You can also use the links below to skip to any section in this article.
The recommended amount of sleep for a given individual ultimately depends on a number of factors. But perhaps the largest determining factor when it comes to the amount of sleep one needs is age. While fully developed adults generally need the least amount of sleep—approximately seven hours or more—teenagers and children are still developing, both mentally and physically. These younger individuals typically need more sleep in order to facilitate healthy growth and development.
Below, we’ve included a chart that outlines how many hours one should be sleeping each night according to their age. Keep in mind that these are only approximations—other factors, such as health conditions and individual needs, can also have a sizable impact on the amount of sleep one needs.
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
As you can see from the chart, the amount of sleep one requires gradually decreases as they age. Infants, who are undergoing a stage of rapid growth and development, sleep for the majority of the day. And, while children don’t sleep as much as infants, they still need to sleep more than teens and adults.
Getting plenty of sleep provides children with several important health benefits. In children, consistently achieving the recommended amount of sleep has been tied to better physical and mental health, heightened learning abilities, a reduction in behavioral problems, improved attention span and memory, and better emotional regulation.
Adults who get enough sleep on a regular basis also tend to reap many of the benefits listed above. On the other hand, when adults don’t get enough sleep, they face a variety of consequences. Insufficient sleep has been linked to problems such as poor health, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and depression.
Other Factors Impacting Sleep Needs
While age is an important factor when it comes to the amount of sleep you should be getting, it’s not the only thing to consider. If you’re trying to figure out how many hours of sleep you really need per night, then you’ll want to take more than one aspect into account. Below are some of the other major factors that impact how many hours of sleep you need at night:
Quality of sleep: It’s not just about how many hours of sleep you need each night—it’s also about how wellyou sleep each night. Are you waking up several times throughout the night? Do you feel tired even after getting seven to nine hours of sleep? Then you may be getting low-quality sleep.
Past sleep deprivation: If you’re deprived of sleep for a certain period of time, you’ll need to make up for that missed sleep. Thus, if for whatever reason you’re sleep-deprived, you’ll likely need more sleep than usual to feel better.
Health conditions: Your general health at any given moment can have a major impact on how many hours of sleep you need. For instance, if you’re feeling sick or recovering from a recent medical procedure, you’ll likely need to get more sleep so that your body can rest and recover.
Sleep disorders: Sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea can negatively impact the quality of your sleep. In some cases, conditions such as nighttime acid reflux can exacerbate sleep problems. If this is the case, try out the MedCline Reflux Relief System to prevent acid reflux and get a good night’s sleep.
Pregnancy: Women who are pregnant experience changes in hormone levels and, of course, physical changes. This can lower sleep quality and, in turn, require pregnant women to get more hours of sleep than usual.
If you’re experiencing health conditions or sleep disorders that interfere with your sleep, speak with your doctor to explore potential solutions. Addressing any health conditions that stand in the way of a good night’s sleep can lead to improved sleep quality, which can benefit both your mental and physical health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who determined sleep recommendations?
Organizations such as the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and Sleep Research Society (SRS) have devised sleep recommendations based on current sleep research. For this article, much of our data was sourced from the National Sleep Foundation, which determined recommended sleep times based on feedback from an expert panel of 18 individuals. Over a period of nine months, this panel reviewed relevant research and studies to outline recommended sleep times by age.
Is it OK to get five hours of sleep?
At some point or another, all of us have been in a position where we’ve had to work late nights or get up early in the morning. Sometimes it’s simply not possible to get the recommended amount of sleep each night. While this isn’t bad if it happens occasionally, continuous sleep deprivation can negatively affect your mental and physical health.
One study found that a typical sleep duration of four hours per night is equivalent to adding almost eight years to one’s age. With that in mind, make sure to get a sufficient amount of sleep on a regular basis.
How can I ensure I get enough sleep?
There are several ways to improve sleep quality. For example, you might establish a bedtime routine where you turn off all electronics an hour or two before going to sleep. You can also optimize your sleep environment by making your room dark, cool, and quiet. And, if you have any medical conditions interfering with the quality of your sleep, consult with a medical professional to determine an effective treatment plan.
So how many hours of sleep do you really need per night? The answer is, it depends. The amount of sleep you get will depend largely on your age, but also on other factors such as quality of sleep, past sleep deprivation, health conditions, sleep disorders, and pregnancy. How many hours of sleep you need each night is also relative to your own needs—so listen to your body and try to get more sleep if you feel fatigued or drowsy during the day.
However, sometimes medical issues get in the way of a good night’s sleep. In this case, you should take action to improve the quality of your sleep. If you experience nighttime acid reflux, try out MedCline’s Reflux Relief System. Or, if you experience chronic shoulder pain, check out our Shoulder Relief System. Both solutions provide premium levels of support and comfort for those who dream of a better night’s sleep.
To learn more about MedCline’s products and how they can help you achieve a good night’s sleep, chat with one of our Sleep Specialists.
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MedCline was founded in 2011 by Carl Melcher, M.D, who was a life-long sufferer of GERD. Dr. Melcher wanted to help the millions of GERD patients with a natural treatment alternative utilizing positional therapy. Since development, the Reflux Relief System has been validated in 7 clinical trials. Aiming to help other medical conditions with positional therapy, MedCline has also developed a Shoulder Relief System for those who suffer with chronic shoulder pain at night. Both MedCline Relief Systems are providing much-needed relief for those suffering from nocturnal acid reflux and/or nighttime shoulder pain to get quality, restorative sleep leading to a higher health-related quality of life.