The amount of sleep you need each night depends on your age, but everyone needs good sleep hygiene to stay healthy. Sleep deprivation could lead to other health problems down the road, like high blood pressure and obesity.
The chart below shows how many hours of sleep you or your child should be getting depending on age.
|Age Range||Amount of Sleep Needed|
|Birth to 3 months||14 to 17 hours|
|4 to 11 months||12 to 16 hours|
|1 to 2 years||11 to 14 hours|
|3 to 5 years||10 to 13 hours|
|6 to 12 years||9 to 12 hours|
|13 to 18 years||8 to 10 hours|
|18 to 64 years||7 to 9 hours|
|65 and older||7 to 8 hours|
Getting enough sleep may seem like a no-brainer, but many adults struggle to get in a solid eight hours of sleep each night. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, about 10% of American adults get insufficient sleep every night.
Signs You’re Sleep-Deprived
Do you find yourself yawning at your desk around 3 p.m. every day? Are you snacking more than usual? You might not be getting enough sleep.
Here are some signs that you’re not catching enough Z’s:
- You’re drowsy during the day
- You’re easily distracted or irritable
- You can’t focus at work or school
You might be in bed for eight hours, but that doesn’t mean your body is cycling through the stages of sleep properly.
There are four stages of sleep: N1, N2, N3 and REM. These four stages make one cycle. It takes about 90 minutes for your body to get through one cycle of sleep. Waking up at the end of a cycle helps you feel more energized and ready for your day.
How to Get Better Sleep
There are several ways to prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep.
- Get enough natural sunlight throughout the day. This maintains your body’s natural rhythms.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake before bed.
- Turn the A/C or fan on and keep your room cool and dark.
- Read a book or magazine before bed.
- Take naps, especially in the late afternoon.
- Bring electronics like a laptop into bed with you.
- Exercise too close to bedtime.
- Oversleep too much on the weekends – this disrupts your sleep schedule.
How Sleep Affects Your Overall Health
Getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis can help you live a healthier life, overall. People who don’t get enough sleep are at a higher risk of experiencing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure or stroke.
Short-term problems can arise from inadequate sleep, too. Feeling drowsy throughout the day can discourage you from doing the things you love, and can add stress to your relationships. A lack of focus while driving can lead to car accidents.