Since 1995 - Non Profit Healthcare Advice

Environmental Health: How Much Sleep Do I Need?

When you think about the environment, sleep is perhaps the last coming to your mind.  In reality, sleep is an important part of our daily environment with approximately 1/3 of our lives are spent asleep.  At any age, we spend a good portion of our day sleeping Just like eating right and getting enough physical activity, getting enough sleep is important to your health. However, sometimes we don’t get enough sleep. When this happens, sleep debt (accumulated hours of missed sleep) occurs. 

Sleep Recommendations by Age:

Your sleep needs can vary.  Your gender, lifestyle, and health also influence your sleep need.

Age Group  Age Hours Per Night
Newborn 0-3 months 14-17
Infant 4-11 months 12-15
Toddler 1-2 years 11-14
Pre-School 3-5 years 10-13
School Age 6-13 years 9-11
Teen 14-17 years 8-10
Young Adult 18-25 years 7-9
Adult 26-64 years 7-9
Older Adult 65+ years 7-8

Sleep Recommendations by Gender:

    Multitasking causes women to need more sleep than men.  Women need about 20 minutes more.  Yet, women are sleeping less.  A woman’s quality and quantity of sleep is affected by:

  • Pregnancy – Sleep disturbances due to the fetus.
  • Menopause – hot flashes
  • Disturbance by partner
  • Anxiety and stress

Sleep Recommendations by Lifestyle and Health:

           Start determining your sleep needs by looking at the sleep recommendation for your age.  Then, pay attention to how you feel on different amounts of sleep.  Ask yourself:

  • Are you productive, healthy, and happy on seven hours of sleep? Or does it take nine hours of quality sleep to feel good in the morning?
  • Do you have any health issues (e.g. being overweight)? Or are you at risk for any disease?
  • Are you experiencing sleep problems (like sleep disorders or diseases)?
  • Do you depend on caffeine (chocolate, coffee, and tea) to get you through the day?
  • Do you feel sleepy when driving?

If you answered yes to any of these questions you may need more sleep than the table recommends.

For more information:

Go to the Environmental Health health topic.