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How much sleep do I need?

Getting poor or too little sleep can affect you in many negative ways. It is important to optimise your sleep and get a sufficient amount in order to function at your best. But how much sleep do you really need? This will vary based on a lot of elements, but we have a guide to help get you started.

Average sleep needs by age

Age Hours needed May be appropriate
Newborn to 3 months old 14-17 hours 11-19 hours
4-11 months old 12-15 hours 10-18 hours
1-2 years old 11-14 hours 9-16 hours
3-5 years old 10-13 hours 8-14 hours
6-13 years old 9-11 hours 7-12 hours
14-17 years old 8-10 hours 7-11 hours
Young adults (18-25 years old) 7-9 hours 6-11 hours
Adults (26-64 years old) 7-9 hours 6-19 hours
Older adults (65+) 7-8 hours 5-9 hours

Source: National Sleep Foundation. Retrieved from: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/sleep-needs-get-the-sleep-you-need.htm

You will require less sleep as you age, and your needs will depend slightly on your activity levels during the day. For example, if you lead a mostly sedentary life, you may find that you need closer to the lower end of the scale on the above table.

It it not only the hours of sleep that are important, it is also the quality of those hours. It is vital to get enough deep and REM sleep, which is when the body heals itself and the brain is at rest. Sleep cycles last 90 minutes for the average person, and medical professionals recommend you get at least 5 sleep cycles per night. This means that if you are consistently getting less than 7.5 hours of sleep, it is likely that you are sleep deprived.

If you believe you are not getting enough sleep, try changing your sleep behaviours and night time routine, and if the problem persists, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about supplements or sleep aids.

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