How Much Sleep Does Our Brain Need?

July 10, 2017

How Much Sleep Does Our Brain Need?


Sleep protects our physical and mental health and insufficient sleep is the cause of some serious health problems including strokes, high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, diabetes, dementia and occular problems.

The amount of sleep that a person needs to stay healthy, alert and active depends on their age and will vary from one person to another, but there are now some recognized guidelines.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) evaluated 300 studies and recently released an age-based sleep recommendation scale. 

Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours of sleep

Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours of sleep

Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours of sleep

Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours of sleep

School-agers (6 to 13): 9 to 11 hours of sleep

Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours of sleep

Young adults (18 to 25 years): 7 to 9 hours of sleep

Adults (26 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours of sleep

Older adults (65 years +): 7 to 8 hours of sleep

Gender Differences.

Women often sleep more than men and their sleep is lighter and more easily disrupted. Pregnancy and hormonal changes related to menopause influence sleep health. Traditionally, tending to babies and children was “the woman’s job” but today the modern man shares those nocturnal duties.

Other Factors that Disrupt Sleep

Depression, stress, arthritis, fibromyalgia, muscle pain, epilepsy, heart disease and substance abuse. Restless Leg Syndrome is another sleep disrupter.

Updated July 10th 2017

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