How much sleep should we be getting?

A new report on sleep has been published - are you getting enough?

As parents, sleep seems to dominate our lives! When you're a new mum, you never seem to get enough (but you get surprisingly good at functioning on hardly any) and you become a little bit obsessed with how many hours a night your baby is sleeping. Then, of course, come the toddler years, when your little one keeps waking up and refusing to go back to sleep. And those 5am alarm calls! What a treat.

But how much sleep should we ideally be getting, and how much should our little ones be getting? The The National Sleep Foundation have published a new report, after a panel of 18 medical scientists and researchers reviewed over 300 sleep studies to determine the amount of time someone should sleep, according to their age. They found the following times are ideal:

Newborns (0 - 3 months): 14-17 hours per day

Infants (4 - 11 months): 12-15 hours per day

Toddlers (1 - 2 years): 11-14 hours per day

Pre-school children (3 - 5 years) 10-13 hours per day

School age children (6 -13 years) 9-11 hours per day

Teenagers (14 - 17 years) 8-10 hours per day

Younger adults (18 - 25 years) 7-9 hours per day

Adults (26 - 64): 7 - 9 hours per day

Older adults (65 years+) 7-8 hours per day

So how do you measure up? Are you getting enough? Try these tips, if you're struggling to get to sleep:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual .
  • Exercise daily.
  • Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Beware of hidden sleep stealers , like alcohol and caffeine.
  • Turn off electronics before bed.
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Alexandra Phillips

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