Sleep Experts Say You Need a Certain Amount of Sleep for Your Age

When you speak to sleep experts at mattress stores in San Diego, you’ll learn that getting the right amount of sleep is imperative for a healthy lifestyle. Improved mood, energy levels, and cognitive functions are proven with quality and consistent sleeping patterns. So, the question becomes: how much sleep do I need? According to sleep experts, this answer will vary depending on your age. At different periods of our life, we require a different amount of sleep. Following these age-related guidelines for sleep allows our body to function at its highest capacity. So, here are the recommended number of hours that people need to sleep at each stage of their life:


Newborns (0-3 months old): Doctors and sleep experts alike agree that newborns should get around 16 to 18 hours of sleep a day. However, these hours of rest are often interrupted. Sleep cycles for newborns can last a few minutes to a few hours with fifty percent of it spent in REM sleep


Infants (4-11 months old): Once babies reach the 4-month mark, they typically start sleeping less. Sleep experts say that infants should get around 12 to 16 hours of sleep a day, which can be attained with many naps during the day. This is the period in which a person’s circadian rhythm starts developing. Most infants establish a regular sleep/wake cycle by 6 months and can sleep through the night by 9 months. 


Toddlers (1-2 years old): Many toddlers experience an increase in motor skills and cognitive stimulation that causes them to be more active during the day and night. It is common, at this age, for kids to resist going to sleep or have trouble with nightmares. However, it is still important that toddlers get around 11 to 14 hours of sleep a day. Naps are a good way to supplement any loss of sleep at night from frequent wake-ups. However, it is important to establish good sleeping habits at this age.


Pre-schoolers (3-5 years old): The average recommended sleep time for pre-schoolers is 11 to 13 hours. Much like a toddler, pre-schoolers may have trouble sleeping due to an active imagination. Sleepwalking and sleep terrors are a common occurrence for many young children. 


Children in Elementary School (6-13 years old): From kindergarten through 6th grade, children tend to need around 9 to 11 hours of sleep. This should be considered as they get busy with schoolwork and extracurricular activities. In a digital age, more and more children this age are having trouble sleeping because of the blue light distractions that they use at night. This is why it is so important to have your children disconnect and enforce an early bedtime. 


Teenagers (14-17 years old): According to sleep experts at San Diego mattress stores, teenagers need to get at least 8 hours of sleep at night. However, many teens experience a shift in their internal clock which makes them fall asleep late and wake up late. Doctors refer to this as a delayed sleep phase syndrome. 


Adults (18 years old and up): The older you get, the less sleep you need and the less time you spend in REM. However, adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep to optimize cognitive functions and health. Adults experience a change in their internal clock that makes them fall asleep early and wake up early. 


Getting the right amount of sleep for your age is important if you want to maintain long-term health and wellness. Sleep deprivation can lead to issues like high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, stroke, and mental illness. Your body will thank you when you follow the appropriate schedule.