Sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being of every human, regardless the age and sex. Furthermore, we spend up to one-third of our lives asleep. Most of us know that getting a good night sleep is important, but just a few of us actually knows why it’s important to sleep for eight hours every day. In addition, even a lesser number of people actually knows about the adequate number of sleep hours per age.
How Much Sleep Do We Need?
As stated above, sleep is a vital indicator of overall health. The problem with sleep is that we know that sleep is important, but only a few of us nows how really important it is and why.
Also, sleep needs are different in every age and they are especially affected by your lifestyle and health. So, in order to get the sleep you need, you must look at the big picture first.
Did you know that we need to sleep in order to grow? Growth hormone is crucial for proper muscle development and tissue growth. This hormone is released during sleep. During your sleep body recovers. Including various organs, tissues, and muscles. Inactivity is important for long-term memories and learning new information.
But again, do we know how many hours of sleep do we actually need? Parents, for example, are always trying to keep their children on the right sleep track. Thanks to their influence, from infants and toddlers phase to school-aged kids and teens, parents can set their kids on a proper sleeping track. It’s true that sleep needs are different from one person to another, but there are some rock-solid science-based guidelines to help you determine whether your or your child is getting enough of sleep.
How Much Sleep Do Kids Need?
Babies, children, and teens need more sleep than adults. More sleep is needed in order to support their speedy mental and physical development. Both, mental and physical development are not possible without good and healthy sleep. Parents usually know how much sleep their kids need in order to stay healthy and fresh. But, the practice showed that parents are not well-aware of might can happen if a child miss es on just 30 to 60 minutes of sleep time.
One of the most common reasons is that’s too hard to know for certain when kids are getting insufficient sleep. Children just don’t get tired as we do, they wind up.
Actually, often times sleepiness can look like symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children often act as if they are not tired and they have this unexplainable urge to stay awake as long as possible. As if they are afraid that they will miss on something.
An extremely tired child will become hyper. The main reason behind it is the fact that your child is overtired. Because of this, your child can’t sleep.
It’s crucial for your kid’s health to maintain a healthy and regular sleep cycle. Yes, everyone is different, and therefore everyone has a different set of needs but there may be some down-turns if your child is not keen toward a steady sleeping cycle. Simply said, if your child goes late to bed, he will get up late the following day for sure. Late bedtime may lead to:
1. Complications Getting To Sleep
As soon as your child passes what’s called natural ‘sleep window’ his body will start producing cortisol and even adrenaline (adrenaline is known for stimulating the body). In addition, the child may experience ‘second wind’, a state of running energy that may be active when your child misses on his sleep schedule.
2. Night Walking
When your child goes to sleep, his sleep will not be calm and quite like it usually is. Therefore, you can expect often walks during the night to the bathroom or even to your bedroom. This kind of late night action can lead to poor sleep quality to the entire family.
3. Early Morning Waking
This may sound contradictory, but the truth is that often when kids are waking early in the morning, a late bedtime is a wrongdoer. Also, early morning waking can lead to disrupted sleep of the entire family.
Every factor stated above leads to less sleep in general. Recent research showed us that kids with a late bedtime get much less sleep than kids who have regular and earlier bedtimes. To sum up, kids that go to bed early don’t make up for the missed sleep by sleeping later or longer or even napping longer.
Does Losing One Hour Of Sleep Makes A Difference?
This is something that affects human at every age, although it’s more significant with children. Just think about how you were feeling last time when you had one hour less of sleep. Do you remember just how grumpy you were feeling? Don’t think that’s something special and reserved just for you.
Actually, everyone feels like that when they miss that one precious hour of sleep. This moody state is especially attached to children – when they sleep a one hour less than usual.
When children miss on that one hour they become moody, they have increased behavioral problems, including frustrations, irritability, and difficulties paying attention. Those who sleep one hour extra are always better behaved. Kids usually need optimal 10 hours of a firm and steady sleep. But, bear in mind that those are general guidelines and not every child is the same.
How Much Sleep Do You Need By Age?
While everyone is different there are some standards that should lead to overall sleeping habits. Our sleeping standards per each age:
Newborns (0-3 months)
Recommended: 14-17 hours
11-13 hours (Minimum of 11 hours)
18-19 hours (Maximum of 19 hours)
Infants (4-11 months)
Recommended: 12-15 hours
10-11 hours (Minimum of 10 hours)
16-18 hours (Maximum of 18 hours)
Toddlers (1-2 years)
Recommended: 11-14 hours
9-10 hours (Minimum of 9 hours)
15-16 hours (Maximum of 16 hours)
Preschoolers (3-5 years)
Recommended: 10-13 hours
8-9 hours (Minimum of 9 hours 8 hours)
14 hours (Maximum of 14 hours)
School-aged Children (6-13 years)
Recommended: 9-11 hours
7-8 hours (Minimum of 7 hours)
12 hours (Maximum of 12 hours)
Teenagers (14-17 years)
Recommended: 8-10 hours
7 hours (Minimum of 7 hours)
11 hours (Maximum of 11 hours)
Young Adults (18-25 years)
Recommended: 7-9 hours
6 hours (Minimum of 6 hours)
10-11 hours (Maximum of 11 hours)
Teenagers And Adults
Teenagers are prone to have their own mind about a number of things. They are rebels that love going to bed at their own time, as well. It is natural for them to change the timing of sleep in this age group. It is aslo normal to want to go to bed later at night and to sleep in as long as possible.
In their rebellious nature, they may miss to realize how important it is to have a good sleep schedule and firm sleeping habits. So, this should be a rock-solid reason for teenagers to be taught good sleep habits. Simply said, they need to understand that their functions will be extremely low after a night of bad sleep.
Stable sleep in also mandatory in adult life, especially around the age of 20 when you are leaving puberty and starting your adult life.
In your adult life, you need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day. Although this is an extremely individual approach, the standard of a minimum of 7 hours sleep is a must. This is a minimum that allows you to function normally the following day.
There are many people that actually try to get away with less sleep. It is double, but it’s not recommended at all, not if you want to stay fresh for the whole day and healthy in the long run.
On the other side, older adults can spend more time in bed.
What About Napping?
Napping is a known occurrence in everyone’s life. Furthermore, in someone’s life, it is mandatory. There are simply people that can’t function without at least one nap during the day. Also, a nap is a great weapon if you feel that your body is wacky tired after a heave food.
In most cases, napping works as a real energy booster. So, what about napping during our life span? Does it change as we age or it remains the same?
Infants are known for sleeping during the whole day in shorter cycles. They can sleep between 30 minutes or 4 hours, regardless if its day or night. With two months and onwards babies start to sleep for longer at a time, so they are usually quiet during the period of midnight and 5 am. With two months they start developing a difference between the internal day-night rhythm.
At six month of age, babies sleep between 5-8 hours at night. But they usually wake up during the night. Also, at this period they are capable of setting themselves back to sleep after the wake at night.
Between 2 months to 12 months, the number of naps goes down to non-mandatory 3-4 naps to two naps. Morning naps stop between 12 and 18 months of age. Onwards, naps are usually present after lunch and before 4 am. Consistent daytime naps are fine until the child turns 5.
During your adult life, you don’t have mandatory naps and they are usually individual and seen after lunch, or following day after a bad night of sleep.
Older people 70+ years old have a tendency of daylight naps that help them stay more agile and provide necessary, and much needed, peace.
Healthy Sleep Habits
Sleeping habits are different during each life stage. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t organize your lifestyle accordingly – to have even better sleeping experience. There are a few things that you do. In a nutshell:
- Make sleep a family priority: Understanding the importance of good sleep always starts with parents. Therefore, make sure that your children continue seeing you as an adequate role model that sets a good example of healthy habits. Staying up late with your child won’t bring anything good. By doing so you are just not sending your child the right message. Make a sleep priority to yourself so your child can learn from you
- Have a regular daily routine: Stick with the proper routine. Make sure that you wake at the same time, have meals at the same hour, and also have play time at the same hours
- Be active: Active life is a healthy life. Be active during the day and interest your kids in outdoor or indoor sports activities during the day. Include a lot of fresh air
- Track screen time: Modern life means life with a technology. You can’t cut on your child’s computer or favorite tech entirely, but you can monitor them or limit the time that they spend in front of the screens. If you are really passionate about preventing sleep disruption, turn off all screens at least 60 minutes before bedtime
- Sleep surrounding: Create a safe bedroom and home environment that will support your sleep. Have a proper tea that will boost your sleep. Dim the lights prior to bedtime and make sure that the temperature is adequate – nor too hot, nor too cold. Keep bed toys free. A bed is a place to sleep, not to play. A security blanket is O.K.
Your sleep habits are changing during your entire life. The amount of sleep that you needed as a child and as an adult can’t be measured. Therefore, babies are known for sleeping a lot, while adults are known for sleeping less and sometimes just a minimum of obligatory sleeping hours.
But, being able to stay awake for a longer period of time is not necessarily a good thing and by doing so you can take your organism to the limits where it cant work properly the following day.
Make sure that you treat yourself with a proper amount of sleep. Every.Single.Day. That’s the best way to keep your body frisky, your mind fresh and your health on top.