by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
Do you know the magic number of hours you need to sleep in a 24-hour period to function at your optimum? Just as we all don’t have the same colour of eyes, the amount of sleep each person needs varies across the spectrum.
Some people are short sleepers and they only require less than 6 hours of sleep a night while others are considered long sleepers and they need to sleep 9 hours or more at a stretch. A good night’s sleep can range from less than 3 hours for some and more than 10 hours for others. Knowing how much sleep you need personally will help gauge how well you’re doing in the sleep department and if you need to make any adjustments to your sleep schedule and lifestyle.
Eight hours of sleep a night is usually assumed to be the best amount of sleep for most, however, most people get around 7 to 7 and a half hours of sleep a night and function fairly well.
Average Sleep Needs by Age
- Newborns (0 to 2 months): 12 to 18 hours a day
- Infants (2 months to 1 year): 14 to 15 hours a day
- Toddlers (1 year to 3 years): 12 to 14 hours a day
- Pre-schoolers (3 years to 5 years): 11 to 13 hours a day
- Children (5 years to 12 years): 10 to 11 hours a day
- Preteens and Teenagers (9 years to 19 years): 8.5 to 10 hours a day
- Adults (18 years or older): 7.5 to 9 hours a day
Once we reach adulthood, the amount of sleep we need will remain fairly constant for the rest of our lives. Although you may have slept longer one night than another night, the number of hours of sleep will average out over a week or a month, give or take a half hour. Sleep needs may change, however, depending on circumstances and people may need more sleep in times of stress, depression, grief, and increased mental effort and some women may need to sleep more during premenstrual times.
The best way to figure out how much sleep you need is to check in with yourself several times a day to see how you feel. If you’re not sleeping enough and are sleep deprived, you may have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, you may feel lethargic in the afternoon, you may feel the need to take a nap, or you fall asleep within 5 minutes of your head hitting the pillow at night.
If you’re catching enough zzz’s, (not too much or not too little) you will feel energetic all day long from the moment you wake up (without an alarm clock), through the morning, afternoon and evening until your regular bedtime.
Take note of how much sleep you are getting and how you are feeling and then stick with what works best. Hopefully, this series will help you reach your magic number of sleep hours soon.