What Are the Sleep Recommendations for Your Age Group?
Inadequate sleep can leave us feeling slow and groggy; however, the problems don't end there. A mountain of research has linked poor sleep to a myriad of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, depression and sexual dysfunction.
Unfortunately, insufficient sleep has become such a widespread problem, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently named it a public health epidemic. To reduce the risk of potential health issues related to this growing problem, the CDC encourages adults to get a minimum recommended amount of sleep based on their age.
How Much Is Enough?
For years, experts have recommended that adults get between seven to nine hours of sleep every night. That said, the National Sleep Foundation recently revamped its recommendations to provide the following guidelines based on a person's age:
- Older adult (65+ years): 7-8 hours
- Adult (26-64 years): 7-9 hours
- Young adult (18-25 years): 7-9 hours
- Teen (14-17 years): 8-10 hours
- School-age child (6-13 years): 9-11 hours
- Preschooler (3-5 years): 10-13 hours
- Toddler (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
- Infant (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
- Newborn (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
Unfortunately, many people suffer from sleep problems that prevent them from meeting the National Sleep Foundation's guidelines. To improve the quantity and quality of sleep, experts recommend the following tips to improve sleep hygiene:
- Avoid alcoholic beverages before bedtime.
- Avoid eating within three hours of sleeping.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine and other chemicals that disrupt sleep.
- Establish a soothing sleep routine.
- Go to bed and get up at the same times each day.
- Exercise earlier in the day.
- Avoid television, laptops, tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices within an hour of sleeping, since these emit light waves which can disrupt melatonin levels.
If you snore, wake frequently or experience grogginess and headaches during the day, you may suffer from sleep apnea. Fortunately, you can get treatment for this troubling condition after receiving a professional diagnosis from a sleep physician.