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How Many Hours of Sleep Do I Need According to My Age?

Jun 29, 2023
· 6 mins read

Deep sleep plays an essential role in good health, and it affects every process in the body: our physical and mental functioning the next day, our ability to fight some diseases and to develop long term immunity, and our risk of developing chronic diseases.

Some health issues like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can alter sleep patterns, causing tiredness and recurrent headaches, affecting people's quality of life.

Sleep deprivation

Even if the definition of sleep quality can differ among individuals, it is important to mention the minimum number of hours you should sleep to consider it an effective sleep.

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

As we mentioned just a moment ago, the amount of hours one person needs to sleep can vary depending on many factors, especially their age group and physical activity. According to that, we have made this table with the sleep needs of the different age groups based on the National Sleep Foundation data. 



Sleep duration  

May be appropriate

Not recommended 


0-3 months

14-17 hours 

11-13 hours or 18-19 hours

Less than 11 hours or more than 19 hours


4-11 months

12-15 hours 

10-11 hours or 16-18 hours 

Less than 10 hours or more than 18 hours


1-2 years

11-14 hours 

9-10 hours or 15-16 hours 

Less than 9 hours or more than 16 hours


3-5 years

10-13 hours 

8-9 hours or 14 hours 

Less than 8 hours or more than 14 hours

School aged children

6-13 years

9-11 hours 

7-8 hours or 12 hours

Less than 7 hours or more than 12 hours


14-17 years

8-10 hours 

7 hours or 11 hours 

Less than 7 hours or more than 11 hours

Young Adults 

18-25 years 

7-9 hours 

6 hours or 10-11 hours 

Less than 6 hours or more than 11 hours


26-64 years

7-9 hours 

6 hours or 10 hours 

Less than 6 hours or more than 10 hours

Older adults

>64 years 

7-8 hours 

5-6 hours or 9 hours 

Less than 5 hours or more than 9 hours

The Importance of Getting Enough Sleep

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) good sleep improves your brain performance, mood, and health, becoming an indispensable part of a healthy adult’s life. It also prevents the development of certain medical conditions like high blood pressure and migraine. 

Getting enough sleep also increases your productivity: it makes you feel more energetic and gives you the time you need to rest, allowing your mind to function correctly. 

Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

The effects of poor sleep or sleep debt are not usually seen the first days or weeks, but they can last for years once they appear. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine these consequences are usually divided into: 

Consequences on mental health: 

  • •Greater risk of depression
  • •Anxious thoughts
  • •Sleepiness throughout the day 
  • •Irritability or mood changes
  • •Increased risk of dementia. 

Consequences on physical health

  • •Promotes obesity
  • •Increases the risk of developing metabolic and heart diseases like diabetes and ischemic heart disease.
  • •Weakened immunity
  • •Low sex drive 
  • •Increased risk of car accidents. 

Benefits of Better Sleep

On the other hand, if you have a frequent good night’s sleep you will see positive results. A few of the effects of a healthy sleep routine are: 

Higher concentration and effectiveness:

Enough rest can help to keep your mind from wandering, and maintain your attention throughout the entire day. 

Strengthen immune system:

An adequate sleep time helps the proteins and cells in your immune system detect and destroy any foreign invaders your body might come into contact with, like the common cold, and promotes long-term defenses against similar microorganisms.

Stays at a healthy weight:

A healthy sleep routine promotes normal feeding hormone levels. In sleep-deprived people, on the other hand, an increased appetite could occur because the level of hormones, like ghrelin, that signal hunger and fullness in your body changes. 

Lower risk of serious health problems:

When you are sleeping, your heart rate and blood pressure naturally drop. But research has shown that if you’re not sleeping properly, your sympathetic nervous system remains stimulated at night, causing an extra demand on the heart in the long term. 

Reduce stress and improve your mood:

The sleep cycle occurs in the hypothalamus through the circadian rhythm. This process is necessary for the consolidation of thoughts, and it has an important role in the management of tough emotions like grief and pain. 

sleep improve your mood

Get along better with people:

The amount of sleep you get can affect your language, reasoning, and communication skills—all key factors when building relationships with others. 

Helps you make better decisions and avoid injuries:

For example, drowsy drivers cause thousands of car accidents every year.

Factors that Can Affect Your Sleep 

Based on the CDC reports, a third of US adults usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep. But why does this happen? The most common causes are:

  • •Stress, anxiety, or depression
  • •A room that's too hot or cold
  • •Uncomfortable beds
  • •Alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, or recreational drugs like cocaine or ecstasy
  • •Shift work.

Of course, we cannot forget about sleep apnea: one of the most common sleep disorders in the world, which causes your breathing to stop and start again multiple times a night. Despite sleep being possible, it's not restful. Even if it is an annoying problem that can lead to other health risks, it can be easily solved through CPAP therapy, which should be guided by health professionals.

It’s important to mention that feeling recovered does not depend only on how many hours of sleep you get: The quality of your sleep is equally important. You should go through all the stages of sleep, from the non rapid eye movement phase (NREM) to the rapid eye movement phase (REM)

These two stages have different functions. During NREM, the body is still active while the brain is in a low activity; this is when sleepwalking and night terrors can occur. Just after that you enter the REM sleep cycle, which is necessary for the entire body to rest while the brain keeps busy, solving problems and refreshing old or new memories (which is why wedream). 

If you are stressed or sleeping in bad conditions (hot weather, loud noises, fever, or other causes) it won't be easy to complete the entire cycle. 

How to Improve Your Sleep Quality

Now that we have explored the entire problem, let's find a few solutions through a list of sleep recommendations you should apply in your daily life: 

Creating a Sleep Schedule

Try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time everyday. This will create a sleep habit conjoined to your circadian rhythm, making it easier for you to fall asleep easily. Don’t forget to use an audible alarm to wake up at the correct hours. 

Having a Bedtime Routine

Going to sleep at a specific hour can be a bit difficult, especially  at the beginning. We have a few tips to make it easier: 

  • •Turn off all the lights at least 30 minutes before going to bed. This includes the one from your phone, computer or TV.
  • •Take a warm shower or bath before going to sleep. 
  • •Listen to adequate music or podcasts to relax. The Calm app has nice options to help you forget your problems and relax. 

Sleeping Environment

Try to adapt the place to your comfort: use the adequate bed for your height and weight, buy an AC or fan if the weather is too hot, and talk to your neighbors if they have loud parties that don't let you sleep. 

Taking Naps

Sometimes you can have a bad night and not sleep as much as you should—you can fix this by getting a little sleep with daytime naps. This will help you gain energy for the activities of the day! Remember that naps should be short (no more than 30 minutes) to avoid changes in your bed routine. 

Most of these tips come from The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. If you continue having sleep problems after following the mentioned strategies you should reach out to a sleep medicine doctor or pediatrician (in case you are a teenager). 

Sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation or insomnia can drastically affect our quality of life and lead to various symptoms and problems in the long term. Thankfully, there are numerous techniques and medical options available to treat this issue and recover that healthy state you once had. 

At Sleeplay, we are dedicated to providing the latest in CPAP machine technology to help you achieve a restful and rejuvenating sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping soundly, take the Home Sleep Test and find out if you suffer from sleep apnea.

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