Sleep can be one of the most relaxing and enjoyable activities in life. We all fantasize about the perfect night of restful sleep in a comfy bed, where we wake up the next morning full of energy and enthusiasm ready to live life to the fullest. Learning how to sleep effectively, efficiently and the right amount as often as possible is one of the most important things in life, I mean we do spend one third of our life sleeping.
We have obviously all felt the feeling (far too often) of not getting enough rest and waking up exhausted and in a haze, in dire need of a cup of coffee to feel alive. Many of us have also felt the feeling of having overslept where we wake up drowsy, listless, not completely alert and even a little sore.
Believe it or not too little or too much sleep can lead to many of the same issues: tiredness, lack of concentration, anxiety, depression and even increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
So that begs the question? What is the recommended amount of sleep we should be getting every night? Is it the 8 to 9 hours your doctor and parents have been recommending to you your whole life? Or is it a little more complicated than that? Let’s put on our classic English deerstalker cap and summon our inner Sherlock Homes swag to find out…
While there are variations of these parameters and every person is a little different (we all know that guy with endless energy that can seemingly survive with four hours a night and be able to still be full of energy, or the friend that literally can’t function without 9 hours), here is the most recent suggested amount of sleep for every age group from the National Sleep Foundation in 2015:
- Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
- Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
- Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
- Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
- School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
- Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
- Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
- Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)
As you can see you generally need less sleep as you transition through life and your body becomes more experienced in helping you receive all of the benefits you need from sleep in order to operate at peak efficiency, if you are able to get these amounts of sleep on a regular basis of course, which for many of you on this site is not the case at least not yet!
You should view these recommended amounts as a goal to try and carve out the time to attain as often as possible in the midst of the crazy whirlwind game we call life.
These sleep amounts are just an outline or a compass though, as your 7 to 9 hours of sleep may not be providing the rest and recuperation you need to enjoy life to the fullest if you are not getting the right amounts of REM or deep sleep or are waking up far too often during the night.
Please utilize all of the tools, recommendations, information, products and expertise on this website to help you take back control of your life and be able to attack with all of the energy and passion that you deserve to.
Feel free to reach out to me on your journey as well and share your progress or struggles as we all try to sleep longer and more effectively to get the most out of our lives. Teamwork makes the dream work,