Some of us feel well-rested after a
solid eight hours of sleep and for others, closer to nine feels
best. How much sleep we prefer to get is highly subjective, but how
much we actually need can be explained by new research from the
National Sleep Foundation. 

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A panel of six sleep experts and 12
other medical experts from organisations including the American
Academy of Paediatrics and the Society for Research in Human
Development, conducted a formal literature review focusing on the
body of research surrounding sleep duration in healthy human
subjects. From the 312 articles reviewed, the experts were able to
fine-tune existing sleep duration recommendations as detailed

Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
(range narrowed from 12-18)

Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
(range widened from 14-15)

Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
(range widened from 12-14)

Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours
(range widened from 11-13)

School-Age Children (6-13): 9-11
hours (range widened from 10-11)

Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours (range
widened from 8.5-9.5)

Young Adults (18-25): 7-9 hours (new
age category)

Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours (no

Older Adults (65+): 7-8 hours (new
age category)

"This is the first time that any
professional organisation has developed age-specific recommended
sleep durations based on a rigorous, systematic review of the world
scientific literature relating sleep duration to health,
performance and safety," Charles A. Czeisler, professor of sleep
medicine at Harvard Medical School and chairman of the board of the
National Sleep Foundation.

"If you're currently getting enough
sleep and don't feel too tired when you wake up, keep to your usual
sleep routine. If you're meeting your age group's recommended range
but waking up groggy and feeling sluggish throughout the day, it
could be a warning sign of various sleep conditions or a
less-than-ideal sleep environment." said Dr Hirshkowitz, chair of
the National Sleep Foundation Scientific Advisory

If you're not sure what is the best
amount of sleep for you it can help to do a little home experiment.
Start with the midpoint of the sleep duration range for your age
group. Note you how feel when you wake up, how you feel during the
day and how you feel as you're winding down in the evening and then
adjust your time in bed accordingly. 

For tips on how to create the
optimum sleep environment and how to get into a relaxing wind down
routine before bed, visit our Sleep Toolkit created by our resident sleep
expert Dr Nerina.