How much sleep do you really need?

Here are the averages for children:


16 hours (total day & night)

1 year

13 – 14 hours

5 years

10 – 12 hours

8 – 12 years

11 hours

12 – 18 years

8 – 9.5 hours*

*Some experts believe more sleep is needed during hormonally active growth spurts in adolescence.

Here are the averages for adults:

It varies!

6 – 10 hours (7 – 8 hours is enough for most adults)

How to make sure you get enough sleep:

Be active:  Regular exercise helps your body in multiple ways – including helping you rest!

Be consistent:  Just like consistency with exercise, going to bed at the same time “conditions” your body for sleep.

Be comfortable:  Set the thermostat at a temperature that feels good to you; make sure your bedding is comfortable & not too heavy; block any light filtering into your bedroom.

De-caffeinate:  Stop drinking caffeinated beverages at least 6 hours before bedtime. Nicotine & alcohol don’t help you sleep either.

De-compress:  Create a routine that allows you to unwind & prepare for sleep: it can be a hot bath, a cup of herbal tea, five minutes of mental “clearing” of the day’s events or just relaxing in bed before turning out the light.

De-clutter:  If you can get the television and the laptop out of the bedroom, do! If not, turn them off and take the time you need to mentally unwind before sleeping.

De-stress:  If you can’t sleep, get up & do something relaxing – have a light snack, drink some warm milk or listen to some quiet music for 15 or 20 minutes.

Sweet Dreams!

posted in Healthy Sleep