June 20, 2018

Each person is different and will have their own special requirements for achieving good sleep but most people will fall in the average recommended guidelines.

Amount of Sleep Required by Age
AgeAmount of Sleep
Newborns (0-3 months)14 - 17 hours
Infants (4-12 months)12 - 16 hours
Toddler (1-2 yrs)11 - 14 hours
Pre-School (3-5 yrs)10 - 13 hours
Elementary Age (6-12 yrs)9 - 12 hours
Teens (13-18 yrs)8 - 10 hours
Adults (18-64 yrs)7 - 9 hours
Older Adults (65+ yrs)7 - 8 hours

source: CDC recommendations

While most people will fall in the average time that is recommended, there is a small buffer zone of roughly an hour on either side of the recommendations.

Rest and renewal, which is what everyone needs, comes from the REM stages of sleep that come at the end of a cycle. Consult the above table for your age and then use the sleep calculator to determine when you should try to fall asleep based on your desired wake time.

Each person requires different amounts of sleep, depending on health and age, but in general healthy adults require over 7 hours of sleep per night with younger people requiring more.

Teens typically need nine or more hour per evening, with younger children needing ten to fifteen hours for restoration. Younger people are still growing and it typically takes more sleep to recover, increase in size, and also deal with hormonal changes.

What is important to keep in mind here is that what is right for a group of people may not be the right amount of time for you personally. You may need 9 hours or may need 5 hours at night at a nap in the middle of the day instead of the normal seven and half straight.

"I don't think you can overdose on healthy sleep. When you get enough sleep your body will wake you up," said Safwan Badr, Chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. This is the little tip we are going to use to figure out how sleep we need.

How to Determine the Right Amount of Sleep for You

To determine how much healthy sleep you personally need takes a little bit of work but it is well worth it.

The key is going to bed at your normal time, with your normal routine taking note of the time. Don't set an alarm!

Stay asleep until your body wakes you up, again taking note of the time.

Take stock of how you feel. If you wake naturally, don't try to a few more winks; go ahead and get out of bed. Going back to sleep can actually make you feel worse.

As a person that isn't afflicted with any illness, oversleeping (sleeping longer than required) can negatively affect how your body and mind perform the next day as much as not getting enough sleep.

If you are wanting to take a nap, you should only sleep for an hour and a half, which is one cycle max. If you can't sleep 90 minutes, only keep your eyes closed but lay horizontally to relieve your blood pressure and to reduce the stress on your body. This has been shown to reduce heart attacks and is quite common in Latin and European countries that have a split day sleeping pattern of five to six hours and night and sixty to ninety minutes in the afternoon.

Log all of the times for the sleep you take for a more accurate assessment.

Repeat this process for a few days or for a couple of weekends. Dividends will start paying off pretty soon for your diligent note taking.

Waking naturally will be the hardest part for people, particularly those with family as this process will take the cooperation of others. Everyone should know how much sleep they require, so engage the whole family in finding their sleep baseline.

Once there are several days worth of entries in your sleep log, take an average on how many hours were sleep on each night to get a good baseline for how much sleep is required for any given normal day.

Don't worry if your average required amount of sleep isn't the same as what is recommended. Finding the amount of sleep you require to feel alert and refreshed in the mornings is what is important.

Take the average time you require to the when to sleep calculator and adjust the clock according and consult the tables to find a time close to your average. This will help you get the amount of sleep you need but will also help you reduce the amount of sleep inertia you feel in the mornings.

Good luck!