Sleep is often an undervalued activity that in fact has quite a few benefits. Sleep is essential for the body to rest and restore itself. The sleep one has is an indicator of overall well-being and health. In fact, sound sleep has often been known to do wonders in terms of healing the body and helping it recuperate. A good night’s sleep can replenish energy levels and make you ready to face the day with renewed vigor. However, confusion arises about how much sleep is enough or what the ideal required sleep duration actually is. For each age group, the required hours of sleep vary.
Also, many of us are aware that eight hours of sleep is optimum or ideal, but it’s been ages since most people have actually gotten those many hours of “shut eye.” This could be owing to busy and hectic lives, numerous social engagements, and add to that the allure of logging online to surf the web or logging in to social network sites. Add to that external stimulants, which wreak havoc on the normal sleep pattern. These include energy drinks, coffee, as well as the light emitted from electronic devices such as smartphones and alarm clocks. All of these factors interfere with the human body’s natural cycle of sleep. This makes us feel like we are in a state of “sleep debt.” These factors impact the sleep cycle at differing levels according to age. Thus, the lifestyle and health of a person acts as the deciding factor for the optimum amount of sleep required by the individual.
Sleep required for various age groups
The National Sleep Foundation carried out studies and analysis with the help of 17 other medical boards and departments and has charted a modified sleep requirement chart that recommends the ideal sleep needed by individuals based on their age:
- Newborns (aged 0 to 3 months) require 14 to 17 hours of sleep per day, which is narrowed down from the previous 12 to 18 hours.
- Infants (aged 4 to 11 months) require 12 to 15 hours of sleep each day, which is widened from the previous 14 to 15 hours.
- Toddlers (aged 1 to 2 years) require 11 to 14 hours sleep daily. The previous guidelines stipulated it as 12 to 14.
- Preschoolers (aged 3 to 5 years) previously had recommended hours of sleep as 11 to 13, which is now widened to 10 to 13 hours.
- School-going children (aged 6 to 13 years) require 9 to 11 hours of daily sleep.
- Teenagers within the age bracket of 14 to 17 years require 8 to 10 hours of sleep. This was earlier stipulated as 8.5 to 9.5 hours.
- Young adults (aged 18 to 25 years) need 7 to 9 hours of daily sleep.
- Adults within the age range of 26 to 64 years require 7 to 9 hours sleep per day.
- Older adults, above 65 years, need 7 to 8 hours of sleep in a day.
A conscious effort needs to be made to make sleep a priority and maintain healthy sleeping habits.