man, woman and child sleep in a row in bed with white sheets

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need At Your Age?

How much sleep do you really need at your age?

A lack of sleep is one of our generation’s biggest challenges.

With sleep deprivation being linked to a myriad of health conditions and mood disorders, it’s time we start paying attention.

For the first time, the National Sleep Foundation, along with a panel of experts from 12 different organizations, put together a set of sleep recommendations. Here are the results, segmented by age and life stage.

2020 Recommendations for Sleep By Age

Infographic - 2020 recommendations for sleep by age

How much sleep do babies need?

Babies need to sleep, and spoiler alert ... they need to sleep a lot. 

It’s typical for babies to spend very little time awake. The rest of their time is dedicated to the incredible amount of growing they do. It’s exhausting work.

Here are the recommendations on how much sleep your baby needs:

Newborn Sleep (0-3 months)

The newborn stage is the sleepiest stage of life. While every baby is different, there is a minimum amount of time that your baby should be sleeping.

The amount of sleep a newborn needs is:

  • Perfect: between 14 and 17 hours
  • Appropriate: between 11 and 13 hours, or 18 to 19 hours
  • Too little: less than 11 hours
  • Too much: more than 19 hours

Baby Sleep (4-11 months)

Babies during this stage stay awake a little longer, but not much. 

The amount of sleep an infant needs is:

  • Perfect: between 12 and 15 hours
  • Appropriate: between 10 and 11 hours, or 16 to 18 hours
  • Too little: less than 10 hours
  • Too much: more than 18 hours

Toddler Sleep (12-24 months)

As your baby moves into toddlerhood, they are ready to explore—walking, talking, and touching everything they can to learn about their environment. 

The amount of sleep a toddler needs is:

  • Perfect: between 11 to 14 hours
  • Appropriate: between 9 and 10 hours, or 15 to 16 hours
  • Too little: less than 9 hours
  • Too much: more than 16 hours

Baby Sleep Troubles

newborn baby in knitted hat sleeps on belly

Worried your baby isn’t getting enough (or too much) sleep?

Here are a few things you can do to help your baby sleep better:

  1. Let there be light. It’s important to teach your baby the difference between night and day. Let the daytime be busy—run the dishwasher, answer the phone, let the house be bright and cheery. As your baby grows, they will learn to associate daylight with awake time and darkness with sleepy time.

  2. Take the night back. Once it’s dark, quiet the house down. Use light sparingly, especially during nighttime diaper changes.Your baby should sleep the soundest at night. This should also set your baby up for sleeping better as they get older, too!

  3. Keep regular bedtime routines. Put your baby down at about the same time every night. Putting your baby to sleep too late can actually make them wake up earlier than they should.

  4. Let them be. As tempting as it is to rush to their bedside the second they make a sound, give them a moment to learn how to soothe themselves back to sleep. It can take a baby up to 30 minutes to fall back to sleep, so let them try first before rushing in with your calming touch.

  5. Make sure they’re comfy. Send them to sleep with loose clothing, a full belly, and a clean diaper. You should also check to see that their crib mattress is comfortable. Older, second-hand crib mattresses can wear out quickly, even it they look perfect on the outside. It’s always recommended to buy a new crib mattress for each baby to keep them cozy and safe.

How much sleep do kids need?

As much as they sometimes don’t want to, sleep is so important for kids. 

Like with everything else at this stage, kids will push bedtime boundaries, too. Be firm with them. It will keep them happier and make them better equipped to cope with their days.

Here are the sleep recommendations for kids:

Preschoolers (3-5 years)

mom reads to young boy as he sleeps

Even the busiest preschooler needs rest. Although they are much more self-sufficient than when they were babies, their rate of growth is still astronomical compared to later stages in life.

The amount of sleep a preschooler needs is:

  • Perfect: between 10 and 13 hours
  • Appropriate: between 8 and 9 hours, or 14 hours
  • Too little: less than 8 hours
  • Too much: more than 14 hours

Child Sleep (6-13 years)

tween boy sleeps in bed

As kids enter their school years, their lives suddenly become full of friends, activities, and homework.

The amount of sleep a grade-school child needs is:

  • Perfect: between 9 to 11 hours
  • Appropriate: between 7 and 8 hours, or 12 hours
  • Too little: less than 7 hours
  • Too much: more than 12 hours

Teenager sleep (14-17 years)

teenage girl sleeps with head on teenage boy's shoulder on bus

This last stage of childhood still requires a lot of sleep. As the final stages of growth impact their days, you still need to keep an eye on how much your teenager is sleeping.

The amount of sleep a teenager needs is:

  • Perfect: between 8 to 10 hours
  • Appropriate: 7 hours, or 11 hours
  • Too little: less than 7 hours
  • Too much: more than 11 hours

Child Sleep Troubles

If you’re concerned that your child isn’t getting enough sleep … or is sleeping too much ... there are a few things you can do to help them sleep better:

  1. Limit screen time. Screen time is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to sleep. As adults, it is hard to set a good example (what is better than a few levels Candy Crush to help you fall asleep?). But numerous studies shbow that screen time before bed leaves your teenager restless and lethargic the next day. Cut off screen time at least an hour before bed, letting them read a book or just relax instead. Easier said than done, but important nonetheless.

  2. Sleep hygiene is a thing. Sleep routines can be one of the first things your teenager ditches as they spread their wings towards independence. And it can be the most detrimental to a healthy night’s sleep. It might be time to re-teach bedtime routines—everything from making their beds in the morning to brushing their teeth at night. Practicing good sleep hygiene is a surefire way to get your teenager back on track!

  3. Growing bodies change needs. Your 17 year old is so much bigger than when they were 11. It might be time to upgrade their mattress. Now heavier and taller, your growing child needs more room than ever before to ensure a good night’s rest. The good news is that the mattress you buy at this stage can last them well into their young adult years as they prepare to leave the nest!

How much sleep do adults need?

blond woman sleeps with head on pillow

Just like kids, adults need a good night’s sleep, too.

Adults are four times more likely to be sleep deprived than kids. The demands of family, work, and responsibility often creep into our time for sleep. There just aren’t enough hours in the day sometimes.

The newest recommendations break adults into three categories: younger adults, adults, and older adults. Each stage of adulthood requires differing amounts of sleep, based on what our bodies and minds need.

Here are the recommended amount of sleep required for adults:

Young adults (18-25)

The amount of sleep younger adults need:

  • Perfect: between 7 to 9 hours
  • Appropriate: 6 hours, or between 10 to 11 hours
  • Too little: less than 6 hours
  • Too much: more than 11 hours

Adults (26-64)

The amount of sleep adults need:

  • Perfect: between 7 and 9 hours
  • Appropriate: 6 hours, or 10 hours
  • Too little: less than 6 hours
  • Too much: more than 10 hours

Older adults (65+)

The amount of sleep older adults need:

  • Perfect: between 7 and 8 hours
  • Appropriate: between 5 and 6 hours, or 9 hours
  • Too little: less than 5 hours
  • Too much: more than 9

Not getting enough sleep? Maybe all you need is a cozier bed.

Check out The Perfect Mattress for the perfect night’s sleep!

Previous article What Do Sleep Positions Really Mean?
Next article What is Sleep Paralysis?

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields