Getting enough sleep is important for people of all ages to stay in good health. Learn how much sleep you need.
People often cut back on their sleep for work, for family demands, or even to watch a good show on television. But if not getting enough sleep is a regular part of your routine, you may be at an increased risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, poor mental health, and even early death.
Even one night of short sleep can affect you the next day. Not only are you more likely to feel sleepy, you're more likely to be in a bad mood, be less productive at work, and be involved in a motor vehicle crash.
How much sleep do I need?
How much sleep you need changes as you age. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend:
|Age Group||Age||Recommended Hours of Sleep|
|Infant||4-12 months||12-16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)|
|Toddler||1-2 years||11-14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)|
|Pre-School||3-5 years||10-13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)|
|School Age||6-12 years||9-12 hours per 24 hours|
|Teen||13-18 years||8-10 hours per 24 hours|
|Adult||18-60 years||7 or more hours per night|
Habits to improve your sleep
- Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
- Remove electronic devices such as TVs, computers, and phones from the bedroom.
- Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
- Don't use tobacco.
- Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
What about quality sleep?
Getting enough sleep is important, but good quality sleep is also essential. Signs of poor sleep quality include feeling sleepy or tired even after getting enough sleep, repeatedly waking up during the night, and having symptoms of a sleep disorder (such as snoring or gasping for air). Better sleep habits may improve the quality of your sleep. If you have symptoms of a sleep disorder, such as snoring or being very sleeping during the day after a full night's sleep, make sure to tell your doctor.
- Paruthi S, Brooks LJ, D’Ambrosio C, Hall WA, Kotagal S, Lloyd RM, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for pediatric populations: a consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. J Clin Sleep Med 2016;12(6):785–786. https://aasm.org/resources/pdf/pediatricsleepdurationconsensus.pdf [PDF – 221KB]
- Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, Bliwise DL, Buxton OM, Buysse D, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: a joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. Sleep 2015;38(6):843–844. https://aasm.org/resources/pdf/pressroom/adult-sleep-duration-consensus.pdf [PDF – 250KB]
Content last updated April 21, 2021