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How much sleep is a good night’s sleep?

There have been differing opinions for years on how much sleep people need. However, the National Sleep Foundation in the US thinks it finally has the answer.

Duvet and pillows on a bed18 sleep experts from the foundation compared nearly 2,500 research papers. From this they’ve come up with their recommendation for us.

So, how much sleep do you need?

According to their findings, on average you need:

  • nine to 11 hours if you’re aged between six and nine years-old
  • eight to 10 hours if you’re a teenager
  • seven to nine hours if you’re between 18 and 64 years-old
  • seven and eight if you’re over 65 years-old.

Benefits of a good rest

Over-sleeping and under-sleeping can have drawbacks, but a good night’s shut eye can have many benefits. These include:

Patterns of sleep

How much sleep we need, and when in the day we feel tired or awake can often depend on what stage of life we’re in.

Teenagers, for example, often don’t feel sleepy until later on at night, and often find they’re more tired in the morning.

What if you don’t sleep well?

If a good night’s sleep eludes you there are few things that can really help to get you on track again.

  • Exercise regularly, but not just before you go to bed
  • Avoid heavy food in the evening
  • Eat healthily and avoid stimulants, caffeine, sugar, tobacco etc.
  • Make sure the room is well ventilated (not too hot or cold)
  • Keep the bed just for sleeping, not studying, watching TV or using your phone.

For more information, look at sleeping problems. If you’re having serious issues, like insomnia it might be worthwhile talking to your GP.

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