How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need? It Might Surprise You

February 3, 2015 Updated: July 18, 2015

The National Sleep Foundation, a not-for-profit scientific organization, has issued an update on how much sleep people should get per night.

In a report this week, the organization issued its recommendations for most age groups.

“This is the first time that any professional organization 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,” said Dr. Charles A. Czeisler,chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation, in a press release.

Here’s the changes:

Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours (previously was 12-18 hours)

Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours (previously was 14-15 hours)

Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours (previously was 12-14 hours)

Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours (previously was 11-13 hours)

School-age kids (6-13 years): 9-11 hours (previously was 10-11 hours)

Teens (14-17 years): 8-10 hours (previously was 8½-9½ hours)

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

Adults (26-64 years): 7-9 hours (no change made)

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

The organization also posted a list of “not recommended” hours for sleep:

Newborns (0-3 months): Less than 11 hours or more than 19 hours

Infants (4-11 months): Less than 10 hours or more than 18 hours

Toddlers (1-2 years): Less than 9 hours or more than 16 hours

Preschoolers (3-5 years): Less than 8 hours or more than 14 hours

School-age kids (6-13 years): Less than 7 hours or more than 12 hours

Teens (14-17 years): Less than 7 hours or more than 11 hours

Young adults (18-25 years): Less than 6 hours or more than 11 hours

Adults (26-64 years): Less than 6 hours or more than 10 hours

Older adults (65+ years): Less than 5 hours or more than 9 hours


Added David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation: “The National Sleep Foundation Sleep Duration Recommendations will help individuals make sleep schedules that are within a healthy range. They also serve as a useful starting point for individuals to discuss their sleep with their health care providers.”

According to the release, the recommendations were made after “rounds of consensus voting after a comprehensive review of published scientific studies on sleep and health. The expert panel included six sleep experts and experts from the following stakeholder organizations” including the American Neurological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Physiological Society.