Are You Getting Enough Sleep? New Study Suggests Revisions to Recommended Sleep Times

The National Sleep Foundation recently updated their sleep recommendation guidelines

Based on new results from a two-year long study, the National Sleep Foundation recently updated its guidelines for recommended sleep time for varying age groups.

“Though research cannot pinpoint an exact amount of sleep need by people at different ages, our new chart, which features minimum and maximum ranges for health as well as ‘recommended’ windows, identifies the ‘rule-of-thumb’ amounts experts agree upon,” the foundation said in a news release.

Healthy sleeping habits are an important pillar of good health.

Not only will you notice a negative influence on things like your focus, memory, and energy levels the day after a night with little sleep, but consistently missing out on sleep is associated with long-term issues like an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and impaired immunity.

The new guidelines issued by the National Sleep Foundation suggest the following time spans for adequate sleep amounts among select age groups:

Newborns (0-3 months ): 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)

Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)

Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)

Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)

School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)

Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)

Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)

Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours

Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)

The new recommendations were also outlined in an infographic which denotes even more specific categories for sleep time such as “recommended range” (outlined above), “may be appropriate” (to designate sleep times outside the recommended range that could be suitable for some individuals), and “not recommended” (to label sleep times that are either much to little or excessive for good health).

The NSF news release mentioned that it’s important for individuals to pay attention to their specific needs, suggesting that you experiment with and assess how you feel on different amounts of sleep so that you can create a habit that allows you to continually feel good.

Some questions that they suggest you ask yourself:

  • Are you productive, healthy and happy on seven hours of sleep? Or does it take you nine hours of quality ZZZs to get you into high gear?
  • Do you have health issues such as being overweight? Are you at risk for any disease?
  • Are you experiencing sleep problems ?
  • Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
  • Do you feel sleepy when driving ?

“Pay careful attention to your mood, energy and health after a poor night's sleep versus a good one,” the news release said. “Ask yourself, ‘How often do I get a good night's sleep?’ Like good diet and exercise, sleep is a critical component to overall health."

To learn more about how you can develop healthy sleeping habits, see: 13 Tips for Getting a Better Night’s Sleep and Before Bed Habits for a Better Night’s Sleep.