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How much sleep do I need?

Healthy sleep can be defined as the amount and quality of sleep that allow one to maintain optimal alertness while awake. Most adults need about eight hours of sleep each night, although sleep requirements vary somewhat among individuals. Children and adolescents typically need more than eight hours of sleep, but after age four, most children require little-to-no daytime sleep.

Most adult people need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. This is an average, and is also subjective. You probably know how much sleep you will need in any average night to feel your best.

The amount of sleep you need does decrease with age. A newborn baby might sleep for 20 hours a day. By age four, that average becomes about 12 hours a day. By age 10, average sleep falls to 10 hours a day. Senior citizens often get by with six or seven hours of sleep a day.

Everyone has a different sleep need. The eight hour rule is general, and not necessarily for those who can feel and actually be fully refreshed on fewer hours; those who don’t physically need at least seven or eight hours are known as short sleepers, but they are not the majority of the population. You could be fooling yourself to think you can get by on just four hours a night, especially in the long term. Sleep is not a luxury.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

 

Getting a good night's sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body. While getting 8 hours of solid sleep is the age-old fabled goal, our needs seem to be a little less than that. Getting 7.4 hours of sleep a night for men and 7 hours of sleep a night for women can make a profound difference on your brain and your heart and have a RealAge effect of making you up to three years younger.

YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.