We at the National Sleep Foundation make it our mission to champion not only sleep science, but sleep health for the individual. And so, on thed eve of our 25 th anniversary, we are releasing the results of a world-class study that took more than two years of research to complete – an update to our most-cited guidelines on how much sleep you really need at each age.
Eighteen leading scientists and researchers came together to form the National Sleep Foundation’s expert panel tasked with updating the official recommendations. The panelists included six sleep specialists and representatives from leading organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Anatomists, American College of Chest Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Geriatrics Society, American Neurological Association, American Physiological Society, American Psychiatric Association, American Thoracic Society, Gerontological Society of America, Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, and Society for Research in Human Development. The panelists participated in a rigorous scientific process that included reviewing over 300 current scientific publications and voting on how much sleep is appropriate throughout the lifespan.
“Millions of individuals trust the National Sleep Foundation for its sleep duration recommendations. As the voice for sleep health it is the NSF’s responsibility to make sure that our recommendations are supported by the most rigorous science,” says Charles Czeisler, MD, PhD, chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation and chief of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, “Individuals, particularly parents, rely on us for this information.”
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Though research cannot pinpoint an exact amount of sleep need by people at different ages, our new chart, which features minimum and maximum ranges for health as well as “recommended” windows, identifies the “rule-of-thumb” amounts experts agree upon.
Nevertheless, it’s important to pay attention to your own individual needs by assessing how you feel on different amounts of sleep.
Are you productive, healthy and happy on seven hours of sleep? Or does it take you nine hours of quality ZZZs to get you into high gear?
Do you have health issues such as being overweight? Are you at risk for any disease?
Are you experiencing sleep problems ?
Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
Do you feel sleepy when driving ?
These are questions that must be asked before you can find the number that works for you.