How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? 6/4/2015 •

How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?

We tend to think of sleep as a time when the mind and body shut down. But this is not the case; sleep is an active period in which a lot of important processing, restoration, and strengthening occurs. When it comes to sleep, can you have too much of a good thing? It's true a good night's sleep is essential for health. But oversleeping has been linked to a host of medical problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and increased risk of death.

Healthy sleep is critical for everyone, since we all need to retain information and learn skills to thrive in life. But this is likely part of the reason children—who acquire language, social, and motor skills at a breathtaking pace throughout their development—need more sleep than adults. While adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, one-year-olds need roughly 11 to 14 hours, school age children between 9 and 11, and teenagers between 8 and 10. During these critical periods of growth and learning, younger people need a heavy dose of slumber for optimal development and alertness.

Unfortunately, a person can't just accumulate sleep deprivation and then log many hours of sleep to make up for it (although paying back "sleep debt" is always a good idea if you're sleep deprived). The best sleep habits are consistent, healthy routines that allow all of us, regardless of our age, to meet our sleep needs every night, and keep on top of life's challenges every day.


Your opinion matters
Denis Wittman
Chronic pain - destroys sleep patterns!
Mar 31, 2015 9:24PM
Yes that trueeee
Mar 31, 2015 10:16PM
Indian sleep when tired, eat when hungry
Mar 31, 2015 11:45PM
Killer syndrom. Pain interrupts sleep,sleep depravayion can lead to lowered immmune system,even depression and for sure decreased enjoyment in life.
Apr 1, 2015 10:58AM
Lena Chavez
Lena Chavez
Apr 1, 2015 2:18PM
Joshua Statlander
Joshua Statlander
Let the body flush out toxins and regenerate! Your eyes, skin and hair will be thankful!
Apr 1, 2015 5:30PM
Carolyn Milton Beckwith
Carolyn Milton Beckwith
That is interesting!
May 3, 2015 1:59PM
Flavia Dominguez
Nice to know I can let my friends know this to help them with their kids.
Aug 23, 2015 3:52AM
La La
Ok, now I'm concerned. I am honestly addicted to taking naps - long naps! I get very sleepy around the same time each day & cannot help but want to curl up with a book or mag and fall asleep reading. It's getting close to my naptime as I speak.
Aug 30, 2015 7:02PM

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