Adequate sleep is a basic requirement for healthy living and proper functioning of the human body. The amount of sleep required by the body varies with age in a significant way. Studies have shown that the amount of sleep required by the body decreases with age.
How Much Sleep Do We Need According To Age?
The perfect amount of sleep required by each individual cannot be clearly defined; however, an approximate amount can be estimated. As per the National Sleep Foundation, the amount of sleep required by the body based on the age of the individual are as follows:
- New born (0 t0 3 months) – 14 to 17 hours of sleep each day
- Infants (4 to 11 months) – 12 to 15 hours of sleep each day
- Toddlers (1 to 2 years) – 11 to14 hours of sleep each day
- Pre-schoolers (3 to 5 years) – 10 to 13 hours of sleep each day
- School age children (6 to 13 years) – 9 to 11 hours of sleep each day
- Teenagers (14 to 17 years) – 8 to 10 hours of sleep each day
- Younger adults (18 to 25 years) – 7 to 9 hours of sleep each day
- Adults (26 to 64 years) – 7 to 9 hours of sleep each day
- Older adults (65+ years) – 7 – 8 hours of sleep each day
It can be noted that the sleep requirement remains quite constant towards the upper range of age; and thus it is often suggested that our body requires 7 hours of sleep every day.
As we age, not only does the amount of sleep required by the body decreases, the amount of sleep we actually get also decrease. Young children often have high arousal threshold and can sleep through even in loud noises. This makes it easy for them to achieve longer sleep hours. Teenagers and young adults often suffer from chronic sleep deprivation due to certain social and cultural reasons. Among adults, sleep deprivation is often seen among doctors, truck driver, new parents etc. Older people may have disturbed sleep pattern due to side effects of medications, underlying medical issues such as chronic pain, frequent urge to use the toilet, respiratory issues etc. This often makes there sleep shorter, fragmented and lighter which pushes them towards day time sleeping.
The timing of sleep also changes with age. New born does not have a fully functional circadian clocks and the sleep is spread throughout the day in phases of 3 to 4 hours of sleep. As the child grows older, the sleep period is pushed towards the night, along with short naps during the day. During teenage hood and adolescence, they tend to feel more alert around 11 pm to 12 pm and often find it difficult to wake up before 9 am. This pattern changes once they reach there adulthood, where they tend to sleep early and wake up early.
Getting sound sleep at night may not be as easy as it sounds, but it is very important to sleep for adequate hours for a sound and healthy body and mind. It is important to ensure that the body gets the amount of sleep required for its age.
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