Sleeping Schedule: How Much Do You Need?

Sleep is a lovely thing. Not only does it help you be mentally prepared for whatever comes your way, it also helps your body with balancing hormones, helping your immune system, and helping with your heart and blood vessels. But how much sleep do you need to get these benefits and not feel groggy or tired the next day? According to the National Sleep Foundation, the answer is based on two things: your age and your lifestyle.

Age

Researchers agree that as you grow older, the amount of sleep you need decreases based on age. Here are the ranges according to the National Sleep Foundation.

  • 0-2 months: 12-18 hours
  • 3-11 months: 14-15 hours
  • 1-3 years: 12-14 hours
  • 3-5 years: 11-13 hours
  • 5-10 years: 10-11 hours
  • 11-17 years: 8 ½ -9 ½ hours
  • 18+ years: 7-9 hours

Lifestyle

Do you stay up late at night to finish work, and then get up early for work the next morning? Do you take multiple naps during the day because you continually feel sleepy? How your sleep cycles change can affect how tired you are, and how much sleep you need. Everyone has a “basal sleep need,” meaning the amount of sleep you need to be at your best through the day. However, when we cut down on those hours for any reason and get less than the required amount, we build up a “sleep debt”, rest hours we need to get back. We then need to sleep more in order to pay off the amount we are “in debt” for. This whole process is something that researchers are still studying, since some people may meet their basal sleep need in one day, and others may need a longer time period.