How Much Sleep Do You Really Need? These New Numbers Might Surprise You

We love sleep, in case you couldn't tell. Did you know that the amount of sleep you need varies depending on your age and lifestyle? Taking these factors into account, the National Sleep Foundation recently released its new recommendations for the amount of sleep we should each aim to get.

Of course, there will be exceptions and differences based on your individual needs, but the non-profit foundation's experts recommend the following:

School-age children (6-13): Since the last recommendations were released, the optimal sleep range widened by one hour — to 9-11 hours.

Teenagers (14-17): Similarly, the sleep range for this age group widened by one hour — to 8-10 hours.

Younger adults (18-25): For this new age category, the ideal sleep range is 7-9 hours.

Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours.

Older adults (65+): Optimal sleep range for this new age category is 7-8 hours.

Previously, we've written about researchers finding the "perfect" amount of sleep based on correlations with the occurrence of different health issues and the number of sick days people took. The scientists called it at 7.6 hours for women and 7.8 for men. This seems mostly in line with these new recommendations, but might be on the low end for the younguns out there.

Still, the consequences of not getting enough sleep can be devastating  — and not just for you. So, it's probably worth taking a minute to figure out how much sleep you need, the right time to head to bed, and how you can eliminate a few common causes of not getting those ZZZs. 
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