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How Many Hours of Sleep Do I Need?

Follow These New Sleep Guidelines, Wake Up Rested

You may be able to run on a measly six hours of sleep, or maybe a minimum of nine is what you prefer. But new age-specific recommendations tell you exactly how much snooze time you should aim for each night.

Six sleep experts and 12 medical experts from organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, and the Society For Research in Human Development delved into an extensive review of 312 articles from around the world (published between 2004 and 20014) focused on sleep relating to health, performance, and safety. Here are their new fine-tuned sleep recommendations:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours (range narrowed from 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours (range widened from 14-15)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours (range widened from 12-14)
  • Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours (range widened from 11-13)
  • School-Age Children (6-13): 9-11 hours (range widened from 10-11)
  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours (range widened from 8.5-9.5)
  • Young Adults (18-25): 7-9 hours (new age category)
  • Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours (no change)
  • Older Adults (65+): 7-8 hours (new age category)

Use these recommendations as a starting guideline. If you're feeling pretty good on eight hours, stick with it. But if you're foggy-headed all day, getting sick often, and feeling sleepy hours before your usual bedtime, increase your sleep duration a little and see if that helps. Having trouble falling asleep? These 20 tips will have you headed to dreamland in no time, and be sure to avoid these six things before bedtime.

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