How Much Sleep Do Different Age Groups Need?

Recommended Sleep Times for Different Age GroupsEven though it’s general knowledge that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep, it’s not always so obvious that that number isn’t the same for other age groups. Even the adult age group is divided into three different, albeit related, groups.

The National Sleep Foundation officially recognizes nine different age groups, each with a recommended amount of sleep. Six sleep experts worked in conjunction with a number of other health experts to develop this list, basing their decision off a comprehensive analysis of studies concerning sleep and health.

The age groups, with their sleep needs, break down like this:

  • Newborns
    • Age range: 0–3 months
    • Recommended Sleep: 14–17 hours
    • Allowable Fluctuations: As little as 11 hours, or as much as 19 hours
    • Not Recommended: Under 11 hours or over 19 hours
  • Infants
    • Age range: 4–11 months
    • Recommended Sleep: 12–15 hours
    • Allowable Fluctuations: As little as 10 hours, or as much as 18 hours
    • Not Recommended: Under 10 hours or over 18 hours
  • Toddlers
    • Age range: 1–2 years
    • Recommended Sleep: 11–14 hours
    • Allowable Fluctuations: As little as 9 hours, or as much as 16 hours
    • Not Recommended: Under 9 hours or over 16 hours
  • Preschoolers
    • Age range: 3–5 years
    • Recommended Sleep: 10–13 hours
    • Allowable Fluctuations: As little as 8 hours, or as much as 14 hours
    • Not Recommended: Under 8 hours or over 14 hours
  • School-age Children
    • Age range: 6–13 years
    • Recommended Sleep: 9–11 hours
    • Allowable Fluctuations: As little as 7 hours, or as much as 12 hours
    • Not Recommended: Under 7 hours or over 12 hours
  • Teens
    • Age range: 14–17 years
    • Recommended Sleep: 8–10 hours
    • Allowable Fluctuations: As little as 7 hours, or as much as 11 hours
    • Not Recommended: Under 7 hours or over 11 hours
  • Young Adults
    • Age range: 18–25 years
    • Recommended Sleep: 7–9 hours
    • Allowable Fluctuations: As little as 6 hours, or as much as 11 hours
    • Not Recommended: Under 6 hours or over 11
  • Adults
    • Age range: 26–64 years
    • Recommended Sleep: 7–9 hours
    • Allowable Fluctuations: As little as 6 hours, or as much as 10 hours
    • Not Recommended: Under 6 hours or over 10 hours
  • Older Adults
    • Age range: 65 years and older
    • Recommended Sleep: 7–8 hours
    • Allowable Fluctuations: As little as 5 hours, or as much as 9 hours
    • Not Recommended: Under 5 hours or over 9 hours

You’ll notice that there’s a fair amount of leeway in each age group. It’s totally okay if you need a little more or less sleep than everyone else — everyone is different! If you’ve never tracked your sleep needs before, follow these steps from Sleep.org to find out what your ideal number is.

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