Contrary to popular belief, eight hours of sleep is not the sufficient amount of sleep everyone should be getting each night. According to the National Sleep Foundation recommended sleep times are influenced by the individual’s developmental age. The National Sleep Foundation also shares how our waking moods are highly influenced by what happens during our sleep. During sleep our body supports brain and physical health, as well as growth and development in children and teens.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH) comments on the importance of sleep stating, “Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.” According to the NIH chronic sleep deprivation can raise the risk for certain health problems.

          The NIH shares insights on sleep deprivation noting:

Studies also show that sleep deficiency alters activity in some parts of the brain. If you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.

Sleep Recommendations From the National Sleep Foundation for Various Developmental Age Groups:                                   

1. Newborn (0-3 months): 14-17 hrs. per night

2. Infant (4-11 months): 12-15 hrs. per night

3. Toddler (1-2 years old): 11-14 hrs. hrs. per night

4. Pre-school (3-5 years old): 10-13 hrs. per night

5. School age (6-13 years old): 9-11 hrs. per night

6. Teen (14-17 years old): 8-10 hrs. per night

7. Young adult (18-25 years old): 7-9 hrs. per night

8. Adult (26-64 years old): 7-9 hrs. per night

9. Older adult (65+): 7-8 hrs. per night

There is no golden rule or set number of hours each person must sleep each night. For instance, during stress, wound healing, illness, or disease the individual may benefit from additional sleep. The recommendations listed by the National Sleep Foundation provide guidance into the amount of daily sleep experts agree to be most beneficial for each age group.

Adapting to a new sleep cycle requires a period of adjustment. You may have to go to bed an hour earlier or rearrange work assignments accordingly. Allow time for your internal biological clock to get accustomed to a new sleep cycle. It may take a few weeks for your body to adapt, but maintain consistency in bedtime routines. Your health and wellbeing is worth the efforts and extra ZZZs.

 * All information shared in this article should be discussed with your healthcare provider prior to incorporating any suggestions. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide advice or direct client decisions.