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Jun 11, 2012

How many hours of sleep are enough for good health?

The amount of sleep you need depends on various factors — especially your age. Consider these general guidelines for different age groups:

Age group Recommended amount of sleep

Infants14 to 15 hours
Toddlers12 to 14 hours
School-age children10 to 11 hours
Adults7 to 9 hours
In addition to age, other factors may affect how many hours of sleep you need. For example:
  • Pregnancy. Changes in a woman's body during pregnancy can increase the need for sleep.
  • Aging. Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults. As you get older, however, your sleeping patterns may change. Older adults tend to sleep more lightly and awaken more frequently during the night than do younger adults. This may create a need for or tendency toward daytime napping.
  • Previous sleep deprivation. If you're sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.
  • Sleep quality. If your sleep is frequently interrupted or cut short, you're not getting quality sleep — and the quality of your sleep is just as important as the quantity.