To get into a good sleep routine, a person can start by figuring out exactly how much sleep they need. Then, they can determine when they should be going to bed and waking up for optimal health.
Experts believe that sleep is just as important to a person’s health as food and water. Getting the right amount of sleep can help prevent disease, boost immunity, and improve mental health.
Still, many of us are not getting enough sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that about one-third of adults consistently do not get the sleep that they need.
Building a healthy sleep pattern may require tweaking the schedule or lifestyle. While this can be challenging at first, the benefits of proper sleep are worth the effort.
How much should you sleep? A person’s age can affect the amount of sleep that they need.
Though there are general guidelines, some people need more sleep than others, due to their lifestyle, any health conditions, and their genetic makeup.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommend that people of different ages get the following amounts of sleep every 24 hours:
- newborns (0–3 months): 14–17 hours
- infants (4–11 months): 12–15 hours
- toddlers (1–2 years): 11–14 hours
- preschoolers (3–5 years): 10–13 hours
- school-age children (6–13 years): 9–11 hours
- teenagers (14–17 years): 8–10 hours
- younger adults (18–25 years): 7–9 hours
- adults (26–64 years): 7–9 hours
- older adults (65 years and above): 7–8 hours
The following chart can help a person figure out when they need to be going to bed to get 8 hours of sleep a night.
The NSF report that, on average, people take 10–20 minutes to fall asleep. The calculations below assume that a person needs 15 minutes, but if someone tends to take longer, they should adjust their bedtime accordingly.
|Wake-up time||Bedtime (to get 8 hours of sleep):|
|4:00 a.m.||7:45 p.m.|
|4:30 a.m.||8:15 p.m.|
|5:00 a.m.||8:45 p.m.|
|5:30 a.m.||9:15 p.m.|
|6:00 a.m.||9:45 p.m.|
|6:30 a.m.||10:15 p.m.|
|7:00 a.m.||10:45 p.m.|
|7:30 a.m.||11:15 p.m.|
|8:00 a.m.||11:45 p.m.|
|8:30 a.m.||12:15 a.m.|