The Recommended Hours Of Sleep By Age According To The National Sleep Foundation

It is usually told that an average adult must sleep for at least a minimum of 7 to 8 hours per day. But is that number really enough to tell about the health of all the age groups. And how many hours of sleep are actually required and totally essential for you depending on your age group. We all live in a time where 24 hours never seem to be enough to achieve all that we have planned for in a day. And so we keep grinding and the very first thing we do is cut down on our sleep.

Now you might think that you are doing good enough and surviving on just a couple of hours of sleep can work for you because you are young and everything. But it is very dangerous to play with your health like this. Yes you might not need a complete 10 hours of sleep, but you should definitely find out the minimum number of hours without which you cannot function.

Till now, there was no comprehensive list which told about the minimum sleeping hours necessary for different age groups for good health. For the first time, the National Sleep Foundation has come up with fresh new guidelines on how many hours of sleep are needed. This updated list has many new age brackets included. And even the existing limit, for previously accounted for age groups has been revised. They are as follows-

1.Newborns, the age group of children between 0 to 3 months, need somewhere between 14 to 17 hours of sleep every day.

2.Infants which are considered to be of the age 4 to 11 months need slightly lesser sleep, ranging from 14 to 15 hours every day.

3.Toddlers, that is children up to the age of 2 years need at least 12 to 14 hours of sleep in a day.

4.Next up are the preschoolers, i.e. children between the ages of 3 to 5 and they need a minimum of 10 hours every day which can be stretched up to 13 hours per day.

5.School going children, typically between the ages of 6 to 13 need at least 9 to 11 hours of sleep a day for it to be considered a healthy lifestyle.

6.Teenagers, aged between 14 to 17 years, the most restless and sleepless of all age groups still need 8 to 10 hours of sleep everyday for functioning well.

7.Young adults, between the ages of 18 to 25 weren’t considered a separate category until this categorization. They need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day.

8.Adults, considered to be between the ages of 26-64 years need an average of 8 hours of sleep in a day.

9.The older adults, i.e elderlies above the age of 65 need up to 8 hours of sleep everyday to maintain their health.


These numbers might sound arbitrary to the layman but they are actually very specific. Many sleep experts have come up with these digits after careful observation of test subjects. Different surveys and published works on sleep health were also taken into consideration by the national sleep foundation to arrive at these numbers.

So if you are not getting the required number of sleeping hours as per this chart prepared by the experts, you need to make some serious lifestyle changes in order to accommodate these numbers.

This is an often neglected but very important aspect of your health, without which all the kale smoothies and non-carb diets in the world won’t be able to help you in reaching a good healthy body.