Are you getting enough sleep?

Photo of a man asleep in bed

Getting enough sleep is important for people of all ages to stay in good health. Read more to learn how much sleep you need.

People will often cut back on their sleep for work, for family demands, or even to watch a good show on television. But if not getting enough sleep is a regular part of your routine, you may be at an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke, poor mental health, and even early death. Even one night of short sleep can affect you the next day. Not surprisingly, you’re more likely to feel sleepy. On top of that, you’re more likely to be in a bad mood, be less productive at work, and be involved in a motor vehicle crash.

How much sleep you need changes as you age. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend:

Age Group

Recommended Hours of Sleep Per Day1,2

Infant

4-12 months

12-16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)

Toddler

1-2 years

11-14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)

Pre-school

3-5 years

10-13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)

School Age

6-12 years

9-12 hours per 24 hours

Teen

13-18 years

8-10 hours per 24 hours

Adult

18-60 years

7 or more hours per night

Habits to improve your sleep

There are some important habits that can improve your sleep health:

  • Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
  • Avoid tobacco/nicotine.
  • Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.

Photo of a child asleep in bed
The amount of sleep you need changes as you age. Children need more sleep than adults.

What about sleep quality?

Getting enough sleep is important, but good sleep quality is also essential. Signs of poor sleep quality include feeling sleepy or tired even after getting enough sleep, repeatedly waking up during the night, and having symptoms of sleep disorders (such as snoring or gasping for air). Better sleep habits may improve the quality of your sleep. If you have symptoms of a sleep disorder, such as snoring or being very sleepy during the day after a full night’s sleep, make sure to tell your doctor.

References
  1. Paruthi S, Brooks LJ, D’Ambrosio C, Hall WA, Kotagal S, Lloyd RM, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for pediatric populations: a consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Cdc-pdf[221 KB]External. J Clin Sleep Med 2016;12(6):785–786.
  2. Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, Bliwise DL, Buxton OM, Buysse D, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: a joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research SocietyCdc-pdfExternal. Sleep. 2015;38(6):843–844. [255 KB]