How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?

Sleep plays a very important role in our lives and this makes it necessary for us to get enough of it. Very many people have been raising the question, how much sleep do we really need? This has prompted scientist to do some research on sleep and the studies they have done came up with the following results according to the age of an individual.

Sleep helps us to maintain our general health which makes it essential for us to know every aspect that will help us improve our sleep health.

How much sleep does an individual need to keep healthy?

The sleeping hours that we will recommend here are not exact values but approximations for optimum sleep periods that will ensure an individual maintains healthy sleeping habits at various stages of their life.

Sleep plays a very important role in our lives
Sleep plays a very important role in our lives

A recent study by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) came up with the following sleep durations recommendations for an individual during his/her entire lifespan from birth so as to get enough quality sleep.

  1. The sleep duration for newborns that are within the age bracket of 0 to 3 months needs to sleep for 14 to 27 hours a day so as to maintain their sleep health as well as general body health.
  2. Those between 4 months and 11 months need to sleep for 12 to 15 hours a day to stay healthy.
  3. Children who are between 1 year and 2 years old need to sleep for 11 to 14 hours each day
  4. Those between the ages of 3 and 5 years require about 10 to 13 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day
  5. Children who have reached the school-going age of between 6 years to 13 years need to get between 9 hours and 11 hours of quality sleep a day so as to maintain a healthy sleep lifestyle
  6. From the age of 14 onwards, one needs to ensure that he/she gets at least 8 hours of sleep on a daily basis so as to ensure their general health is maintained effectively.

How to ensure that you maintain a healthy sleeping schedule

The following tips will help you ensure that you maintain your healthy sleep schedule and that you get enough sleep on a daily basis:

  • Ensure that you stick to your sleep schedule

It is important that you follow your regular sleep schedule every day even on the weekends. This will help your body maintain its sleep and wake time and thus remain healthy throughout.

You follow your regular sleep schedule every day
You follow your regular sleep schedule every day
  • Get a bedtime routine

It’s important that you come up with relaxing activities to engage in before bed that will help your body and mind relax and helps you fall asleep even faster.

  • Ensure you have a conducive sleep environment

This can be achieved by ensuring the temperature is just right and that your bedroom is tidy with no clutter and the colors in the room trigger a calming effect.

  • Make sure that your bed is comfortable

This means that you should ensure your mattress is firm enough and the pillows you sleep on are soft and the materials used to make them don’t cause you allergic reactions.

  • Avoid taking stimulants before bed

These include caffeine and alcohol which can make it hard for your brain to relax enough for you to fall asleep.

  • Avoid distractions

Make your bedroom comfortable for sleep. Electronic devices often act as distractions and prevent you from falling asleep when needed. You should always make sure that you turn all your electronic devices off before going to bed so to avoid your sleep from being distracted by notifications and blue light from these devices.

Make your bedroom comfortable for sleep
Make your bedroom comfortable for sleep
  • Avoid taking naps during the day

This may interrupt your internal sleep clock and thus cause you to find it difficult to fall asleep when you get to bed at night.

  • Avoid eating heavy meals before bed

Fatty foods and heavy meals may make it difficult for you to fall asleep if they are taken a few hours before bed as they take a lot longer to digest.

You should make sure that you eat a light meal which comprises mostly of vegetables to ensure that you do not suffer from indigestion and your sleep remains uninterrupted until morning.


It is clear from the information provided above that enough sleep plays a vital role in ensuring that we maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout our lives. Enough sleep is not only important to adults but also to children from as early as when we are born.

Sleep helps us to maintain healthy growth from when we are born because our bodies are able to regenerate and repair during the deep sleep period of our sleep cycle. When we sleep for the required period of time, we are able to elongate the deep sleep period of our sleep cycle and thus give our bodies enough time to properly heal as well as grow.

The sleep schedule we have provided you is sufficient enough to answer the question, how much sleep do we really need? Get more information here:

Try as much as possible to sleep for the recommended period of time so as to ensure that your productivity remains high and your health great.

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