VERIFY: Do You Need Less Sleep The Older You Get?

Verify: Adult Sleep Pt. 2

The amount of sleep you should have to be productive has always been up for debate. 

A viewer sent us the question, "Is it true the younger you are, the more sleep you need and if older, you need less?"

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We took a look at an article by the National Sleep Foundation that outlines new sleep times. We also spoke with Dr. Abubakr Bajwa works for St. Vincent's Lung Sleep & Critical Care branch. He set the record straight for us. 

"Generally speaking, the younger you are - and by younger, I mean anywhere from the time you were born to the age we consider to be young adults - the number of sleep hours recommended is higher than once you've hit 18," Bajwa said. "After that, the sleep hours decrease. Generally speaking, it's because of the need for growth and development in the younger years of life."

The quality of sleep can be more important than getting the recommended amount, Bajwa said. If you get the right amount of hours, but you get woken up a bunch of times, you still won't be rested. However, if you get under the recommended amount, but you don't get woken up very often and you have enough time in a deep sleep then you should feel alright. So how much is recommended?

According to the National Sleep Foundation:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
  • School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)

So we can verify that yes, you need more sleep when you are younger and less when you are older. 


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 If there is something you would like us to verify, send us an email to verify@firstcoastnews.com.

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