Healthy Sleep Recommendations

Is your daily agenda crammed full like many Americans? Our modern day requires you to balance work and family, and you may also have other responsibilities such as taking care of aging parents. Finding time to enjoy your own life can be tough, especially with daily stresses and demands. Securing adequate rest each night can even be a chore in itself. However, a good night’s rest every night is essential to psychological, cognitive, and metabolic health. Sleep is just as important as the right nutrition and proper exercise. If you’re getting enough sleep, congratulations! But, you may be a bit sleep deprived if you’re waking up groggy and feeling a bit sluggish throughout the day. So, how much sleep should you be getting?

New Sleep Recommendation Guidelines

Very recently, the National Sleep Foundation provided new sleep recommendations after a panel of sleep and medical experts conducted a formal literature review. Consensus for recommendations was reached after experts reviewed 312 articles published in scientific and medical journals between 2004 and 2014 on daily sleep duration in healthy people:

  • Newborns (0-3 months) – 14 to 17 hours
  • Infants (4-11 months) – 12 to 15 hours
  • Toddlers (1-2 years) – 11 to 14 hours
  • Preschoolers (3-5 years) – 10 to 13 hours
  • School Age Children (6-13 years) – 9 to 11 hours
  • Teenagers (14-17 years) – 8 to 10 hours
  • Young Adults (18-25 years) – 7 to 9 hours
  • Adults (26-64 years) – 7 to 9 hours
  • Older Adults (65+ years) – 7 to 8 hours

Healthy Sleep Cycle

Ideally, sleep comes in cycles of 90-minute segments throughout those hours. It includes rapid eye movement (REM) sleep which is considered your dream stage, but you first enter four other stages. Each stage takes you to a deeper and more restorative stage until you enter that wondrous REM sleep. After the cycle is complete, you resurface and enter another 90-minute segment. These cycles continue throughout the night until you awaken.


As you can see from the new guidelines, sleep needs vary across ages. By assessing where you fall on the spectrum of sleep needs, you may determine how much you should be getting. Once you’ve resolved your needs, make sure you hit the sack at the appropriate time each night so that you awaken refreshed ach morning.


This information is available as a PDF document.