Different individuals need different amounts of sleep and the quality of sleep matters. However, there are good general rules of thumb for how long you should aim to sleep, depending on age. As we get older, we tend to need less sleep.
It is recommended that babies sleep 11 to 18 hours a day.
- School-aged children can sleep 7 to 12 hours.
- Teenagers can sleep 7 to 11 hours.
- Adults can sleep 6 to 10 hours.
- Older adults can sleep 5 to 9 hours.
Despite the recommendations, how much sleep is needed differs from person to person. If you are getting less sleep but aren’t tired during the day, that might be enough for you. On the other hand, if you are getting the recommended amount of sleep but are still tired, you may need more sleep.
Getting Better Sleep
To get better sleep, you can improve either how well you sleep (quality), how long you sleep (time), or both. The techniques in the rest of this section will teach you the principles of your circadian rhythm and how to manipulate your environment to achieve better sleep.
If you are still having trouble sleeping after following this guide, it may be worthwhile to talk to a sleep professional to get more tailored advice and intervention. Sleep is important!