How much sleep do I need?
The amount of sleep we need can differ from person to person. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of good quality sleep a night to function at their best.
At least 7 hours of sleep is the best starting point for healthy adults. You should make sleep one of your top health priorities. Bear in mind that healthy sleep also requires good quality and regular sleep.
HOW MUCH SLEEP DO I NEED?
The appropriate amount of sleep needed per night can differ from person to person but a minimum of 7 hours of healthy sleep seems to be about right. Healthy sleep means both good quality and regular sleep.
Some adults however, may need up to 9 hours per night, particularly young adults and those who have an illness may also need more sleep.
A small percentage of adults are short sleepers who feel alert and refreshed after sleeping less than 6 hours per night!
As adults age, the amount of sleep needed doesn't decrease and remains at 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Here’s a sleep guide from the National Sleep Foundation:
|AGE||HOURS OF SLEEP|
|New born babies||
14 to 17 hours
|Infants||12 to 15 hours|
|Toddlers||11 to 14 hours|
|Pre-schoolers||10 to 13 hours|
|School aged children||9 to 11 hours|
|Teenagers||8 to 10 hours|
|Young adults||7 to 9 hours|
|Adults||7 to 9 hours|
|Over 60s||7 to 9 hours|
HOW MUCH SLEEP DO CHILDREN NEED?
Various scientific studies show that children who get regular, good quality sleep have better attention, behaviour, learning ability, memory and overall mental and physical health. Lack of sleep can lead to different health issues including high blood pressure, obesity and depression.
This sleep chart from the NHS website shows how much sleep school aged children should be getting:
|AGE||HOURS OF SLEEP|
11 hours, 30 mins
|6||10 hours, 45 mins|
|7||10 hours, 30 mins|
|8||10 hours, 15 mins|
|10||9 hours, 45 mins|
|11||9 hours, 30 mins|
|12 - 13||9 hours, 15 mins|
|14 - 16||9 hours|
WHY IS SLEEP IMPORTANT?
Sleep, nutrition and exercise are the three essentials for a healthy lifestyle. Our bodies heal while we sleep and optimise various processes such as:
- Healing damaged cells.
- Boosting our immune system.
- Recovering from the day’s activities.
- Recharging our heart and cardiovascular system for the next day.
Giving us better physical and mental health when we wake the next morning.