Recommended Amount of Sleep Needed By Age

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In order to function properly the next day, you need to get a decent amount of sleep during the night. While the amount of sleep needed per day changes as you age, most people do not meet the recommended amounts of sleep nightly.

Learn about how the amount of sleep you need changes as you age, so that you can help you and your loved ones develop healthier sleeping habits today.

Children
It is very important for children to get the amount of sleep they need nightly in order to develop and grow. Here are the daily recommended amounts of sleep for children.

1 – 4 Weeks Old: 16 Hours
Newborns will not have developed their circadian rhythm, otherwise known as internal biological clocks, yet, so their sleep will not follow much of a pattern yet. These babies will sleep in very short periods lasting 2 – 4 hours.

1 – 12 Months Old: 15 Hours
After 6 weeks, babies start settling down and developing regular sleep patterns. It is important to help them develop healthy sleep habits at this time. Keep in mind that most children should be having 2 – 3 naps per day at this age.

1 – 3 Years Old: 14 Hours
Most children will only have 1 nap per day at this point, and enter their beds at around 7 or 9pm, before waking up at 6 or 8am.

3 – 12 Years Old: 12 Hours
With more activities and commitments in their lives, children will find it hard to get as much sleep as they need. Make sure that bedtimes are not pushed too late, even if the child is fussy about staying up.

12 – 18 Years Old: 9 Hours
With pressure and stress from their social lives and school, it becomes much harder for teenagers to be able to get the amount and quality of sleep that they need.

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Adults
Even in adulthood, the amount of sleep you need continues to change. An average adult requires 8 hours of sleep nightly. However, as you age, you may find the quality of sleep declining for you. Even as you get hours of sleep, your sleep may be much less satisfying as the years go by. This has to do with your health.

Improvements in health also lead to improvements in sleep, and vice versa. With more chaos in your hectic life as you struggle to meet deadlines and pay the bills as well as manage being a parent, you may be finding it hard to get the hours of sleep you need. As you sacrifice sleep, your health declines, which in turns leads to lower quality sleep in the long run.

In addition, your sleep might be disturbed by any sleeping disorders you have and situational conditions, such as pregnancy. Women experiencing menopause also have difficulty sleeping.

If you want to maintain your overall health and feel great from day to day, make sure that you get the amount of sleep you need every single night, no matter how busy you are.

Elderly
As you reach your senior years, you will likely have more time for sleep, but still not be able to sleep as much as you want and need. This is your sleep is likely to be disturbed by the pain that comes with aging. For example, if you have a painful knee, heart troubles, a sore back, or a bad hip, the pain and annoyance of it all might just keep you up.

In addition, as you age, your circadian clock functions less well and you start to unlearn your usual sleep rhythms. You will wake up more at night and take naps during the day, similar to how you slept as a very young child.

Try to go back to the sleeping pattern you are used to with bright light therapy in the morning and early evening, accompanied with a little exercise.

References:

How Much Sleep Do Children Need?
Sleep Through the Decades

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