How Much Sleep Do You Really Need? Have you ever found yourself climbing in bed at 2am or 3am knowing you needed more sleep, but thinking you could manage just fine on the 4-5 hours you would get? We’ve all had nights where work, sick kids or insomnia have kept us from getting the sleep we needed, but do you even know how much sleep you really need? We’ve done the investigative work for you, and hope to help you understand better what your body needs.
How Much Sleep Do You Really Need
First you need to understand why sleep is important to your overall health. Not only does sleep provide your body with the chance to recharge from your daily activities, but your body needs this rest to maintain optimum health. Your immune system needs a reboot to heal, fight viruses or bacteria, as well as do simple things like digest your food and think clearly.
A lack of one hour of sleep can drastically hurt your ability to focus and can put a damper on your immune system. Contrary to popular belief, sleeping in on the weekends isn’t enough to truly recharge your body. A lack of sleep on a regular basis will take its toll on your physical ability to maintain proper health and function.
Amount of recommended sleep for the average healthy individual:
Infants: 12-18 hours of sleep per day is normal in the first few months of life. In fact, over the first year of life an infant and baby may continue to sleep upwards of 12-14 hours a day. This includes longer stretches at night, but multiple naps throughout the day. Their bodies tire easily and so they need to nap regularly throughout the day.
Toddlers & Young Children: 12-14 hours of sleep per day is normal for toddlers from ages 1-5. This will also include a few naps per day in the first few years. By the time they are 2 ½-3 years old that may cut back to one nap during the day, but if your child exhibits sleepy/tired behavior a nap is always a good choice.
Children: Kids ages 5-11 need on average 10-11 hours of sleep each day. Since napping is typically out at this age, that means a much longer night sleep. An early bedtime of 7:30-8:00pm is a normal time for school aged kids when they are getting up at 6:00-6:30am to get ready for school each day.
Teenagers: 8½-10 hours of sleep is still needed for teenagers, even if they don’t want to believe you. With their bodies growing and maturing, it is especially important for them to get enough rest. This helps the new hormones to function properly and their bodies to grow and develop as they should. It will also give them focus for education and learning, as well as provide them with energy for after school sports.
Adults: 7½ -9 hours. Each individual may have different factors requiring them to need more or less sleep. Working a hard physical job each day will mean your body needs more sleep to recuperate. Someone with an easier less demanding physical job may do just fine with only 7 ½-8 hours of sleep.
It’s not just about how much sleep you really need at night. It is also about the quality of sleep you are getting. A fitful night of sleep with lots of waking isn’t the quality you need. From changing your evening eating or drinking habits to buying a new bed that suits your body and needs better – you also need to focus on getting the quality sleep your body needs. My life has changed the moment I really started paying attention to the amount of sleep I was getting and then changing my mattress to an intelliBED mattress. Be sure to read my previous Honest intelliBED Review article here to understand my excitement.
So how about it, are you getting enough sleep?