Getting good sleep is essential for our body to function properly—that’s a no brainer. And while you may be used to hearing that you need seven to eight hours of sleep a night, that recommendation actually depends on how old you are.
How many hours of shuteye do you need?
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) published a study in 2019 that determined the ideal number of hours an individual should sleep while factoring in age. Obviously, newborns need the maximum amount of sleep.
For a baby to be healthy and well-rested, they should be sleeping anywhere between 14 to 17 hours over a 24-hour period! As for teenagers between 14 to 17 years of age, they should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night in order to stay in good shape.
What about an adult?
The common misconception is that adults need less sleep than children and teens to function throughout the day. In reality, to be fully recovered from a day of productivity (or just staying awake) adults from ages of 26 to 64 need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
Finally, everyone over the age of 65 should sleep 7 or 8 hours a night.
Researchers from the study also explained that there’s no need to panic if a person doesn’t fulfill their recommended hours of sleep. As long as you feel well and sufficiently rested, there is no need to change your sleep cycle. Max Hirshkowitz, sleep physician at Harvard and president of the NSF explains:
If you are getting enough sleep and feeling good, continue at that pace. Each case is different, so it's important to pay attention to your needs. But if you are getting the recommended hours of sleep for your age group and still feel tired during the day, it may be a sign that your sleeping conditions or environment are not appropriate.