New Sleep Recommendations Issued
The National Sleep Foundation has issued official guidelines for the optimal number of hours of sleep based on a person’s age. The new Sleep Duration recommendations were formulated to reflect input from a wide range of experts, including scientists specialized in anatomy, physiology, neonatology, gerontology, and even gynecology. For some age groups, recommended hours of sleep were expanded; for others, sleep ranges were narrowed.
Sleep is one of the basic foundations of good health. We tend to focus more often on diet and exercise, but sleep is equally important. Scrimping on sleep may be common, but it’s also costly. Sleep deprivation takes a serious toll of mental and physical performance, immune system function, and even the tendency to gain weight.
Studies suggest that sleep deprivation causes Americans’ work productivity to suffer, and is often a factor in accidents. Do yourself a favor and take these age-appropriate recommendations to heart. Try to get the recommended amount of sleep every day for optimal health.
Here’s a summary:
Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously 12-18)
- Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously 14-15)
- Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously 12-14)
- Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously 11-13)
- School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously 10-11)
- Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously 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)
J. Catesby Ware, PhD et al. National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary. Sleep Health, January 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.sleh.2014.12.010