One of the most common sleep topics is based around how many hours of sleep do we need per night. The short answer for adults is between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Besides the obvious numeric answer, there are various other factors that contribute to the conversation. These factors are age, previous sleep deprivation, personal preference and the quality of sleep.
One of the most important factors to consider when determining how much sleep you need is age. Different age groups are recommended to get a different amount of sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic these are the hours of sleep you should be getting based on age.
Newborns 0-3 Months: 14-17 Hours (including naps)
Infants 4-12 Months: 12-16 Hours (including naps)
1-2 Years Old: 11-14 Hours (including naps)
3-5 Years Old: 10-13 Hours (including naps)
6-12 Years Old: 9-12 Hours
13-18 years Old: 8-10 Hours
Adults: 7-9 Hours
Previous Sleep Deprivation-
Previous sleep deprivation can have a drastic impact on the amount of sleep you need. If you are already sleep deprived you will need to increase the amount of hours you sleep in order to get back to your baseline. This is not an exact science. This is where it's important to listen to your body and see how it responds. A good rule of thumb is to add on the amount of hours you were missing from the night before to your current night's sleep. A key to remember here is to not oversleep, which can lead to its own set of issues. Once baseline is achieved, it's important to try and return to your normal sleep patterns, in order to not continue the cycle.
Like anything else in life, personal preference plays a factor in the amount of sleep you need per night. Some adults only need the minimum 7 hours of sleep to be at their best, while other's need the full 9 hours of sleep to be at their best. Although it's perfectly fine to mold your sleep patterns around personal preference, it is recommended by experts to try to stay as close to possible within the range of 7-9 hours as an adult. Obviously this isn't always possible which can lead way to sleep deprivation. As mentioned previously, it is recommended to try to catch up on sleep on nights you can during this period in order to achieve baseline once again.
Quality Of Sleep-
A crucial factor in determining how much sleep you need per night is the quality of sleep you are getting. According to The National Sleep Foundation, there are 4 Main Factors that are assessed to determine sleep quality.
Sleep Latency- Measures how long it takes you to fall asleep. 30 Minutes or Less generally indicates good sleep quality.
Sleep Waking- Measures how many times you wake up during the night. Waking up one time or less during the night is usually a sign of good sleep quality.
Wakefulness- Measures how many minutes you spend awake during the night after first going to sleep. 20 minutes or less of wakefulness is generally an indication of good sleep quality.
Sleep Efficiency- Measures the amount of time you actually spend sleeping while in bed. A good benchmark is 85% or higher.
The quality of sleep you get is heavily dependent on your sleep hygiene. There are many ways you can improve your sleep hygiene which will in turn help with the quality of sleep you are getting. Check out our article about sleep hygiene here to get some tips and tricks. If you can employ these strategies to improve the quality of your sleep, you will need less overall sleep to be at your best. Another strategy that always helps sleep quality is finding a top quality mattress. This way you can spend more time getting quality of sleep. Check out our Top Mattresses of 2023 here.