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How Much Sleep You Really Need? – Here Are Recommendations From National Sleep Foundation


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The National Sleep Foundation (yes there is such a thing), recently updated it’s recommendations for how much sleep an individual requires relative to their age. It turns out that the NSF website receives a lot of traffic on its section for “How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?”. And so the panel of Experts at the Foundation decided to review and revise the section and make some changes stemming from research done in the last decade.

Max Hirshkowitz, PhD., chair of the NSF Scientific Advisory Council said that the basis for recommendations for sleep on the website weren’t known and so it was difficult to say whether they were truly accurate or not.

After taking a good look at 312 peer reviewed articles, a panel of six “sleep” experts and 12 other medical experts from organisations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Geriatrics Society, the American Psychiatric Association and the Society for Research in Human Development, they fine tuned the recommendations for sleep in some areas and added new categories to benefit all ages. 

The recommendations are :-

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours (range narrowed from 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours (range widened from 14-15)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours (range widened from 12-14)
  • Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours (range widened from 11-13)
  • School-Age Children (6-13): 9-11 hours (range widened from 10-11)
  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours (range widened from 8.5-9.5)
  • Young Adults (18-25): 7-9 hours (new age category)
  • Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours (no change)
  • Older Adults (65+): 7-8 hours (new age category)

Hirshkowitz recommends that if you feel comfortable in your age group’s allotted time then there’s nothing to worry about but if you don’t there maybe reason to reevaluate your lifestyle including your daily activity and diet.

Hirshkowitz suggests trying the midpoint of the range of your age group and then adjusting depending on how you feel throughout the day. Or you could just ballpark how much sleep you need and adjust that figure.

Also Read: This Gadget Transforms Your iPhone Into a 20-Megapixel DSLR Camera.


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