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Updated: Dec 18, 2020

Have you ever asked yourself how much sleep do we really need? To be honest there is no magic number for how much sleep we need. The need for sleep varies from person to person of the same age. Sleep needs also change over the life span. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If healthy adults are given unlimited opportunity to sleep, they usually sleep between 8 and 8.5 hours. Infants sleep between 16 and 18 hours per day, toddlers sleep12-14 hours, preschoolers sleep between 11 and 12 hours and school-aged children and adolescents sleep at least 10 hours of sleep each night.

In general, people are getting less sleep than they need due to economic stress and demands of modern life. Many people also try to catch up on missed sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekends. But if we have lost too much sleep, sleeping longer on the weekend does not completely erase our sleep debt.

Practical Points:

Here’s how you can evaluate your own sleep needs: Answer to the following questions:

Do you need an alarm to wake up and do you hit the snooze a couple of times?

Do you feel unrested and groggy upon your awakening?

Do you have any daytime drowsiness?

Are you dependent on caffeine to get you going throughout the day?

Are you irritable or moody throughout the day and are less productive and focused? and if your appetite increased?

If you sleep less than 8 hours and say "Yes" to any of these questions, reconsider your sleep habits. If you sleep 8 hours and more and answer "Yes" to any of these questions, you may need to look for an underlining medical condition or an unhealthy lifestyle.

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