How Much Sleep Do I Need?

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Man Sleeping

Sleep needs vary from person to person, but there are some basic guidelines that can be followed to ensure you are getting enough sleep.  

Why Sleep is so Important? 

Along with a healthy diet and exercise, sleep is a critical, and often overlooked, component of a healthy lifestyle. A restful sleep leaves you more productive during the day with improved concentration, higher energy levels, and better coordination. Conversely, poor sleep can increase the risk of heart disease, and depression and weaken your immune system. In addition, you are also more likely to gain weight and may actually eat more when you are not getting enough sleep.1

How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Need?

The recommended guidelines for healthy sleep vary by age. Newborns require the most sleep with a recommended 14 to 17 hours whereas older adults require between 7 and 8 hours.2 Here is a complete breakdown:

  • Newborns (0–3 months): 14–17 hours
  • Infants (4–12 months): 12–16 hours
  • Toddler (1–2 years): 11–14 hours
  • Preschool (3–5 years): 10–13 hours
  • School age (6–12 years): 9–12 hours
  • Teen (13–18 years): 8–10 hours
  • Adult (18–60 years): 7-plus hours
  • Adult (61–64 years): 7–9 hours
  • Adult (65+ years): 7–8 hours

How to Find Out if You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep?

For those who feel groggy or fatigued after a full night’s sleep, you may not be getting enough restful, deep sleep. Deep sleep allows the body to recover and is directly linked to daily performance and personal health. However, untreated sleep disorders, like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), can interrupt deep sleep. In OSA, sleep is repeatedly interrupted by apnea episodes or periods of paused breathing where oxygen flow is blocked due to a collapsed airway. 

Left untreated, OSA can affect daily performance including the ability to focus or concentrate, fatigue, and daily migraines. Long-term health complications include heart disease, insulin resistance, and stroke, to name a few.

To find out if sleep apnea is impacting your health, purchasing a Complete Care Package from Sleep Care online is the first step. Here is how it works:

  1. With the Complete Care Package, schedule a 10-minute telehealth visit with a healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms, upcoming sleep study, test results, and treatment options.
  2. A multi-night, disposable home sleep apnea test is mailed to your home to be completed at your convenience.
  3. A physician analyzes the sleep data and provides a prescription if needed.
  4. Schedule an optional follow-up appointment (additional fee applies).
  5. We connect you to sleep experts who can offer customized sleep therapy options, assistance in equipment purchase, and initial set-up.
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What are the Effects of Less Sleep?  

You will immediately notice the effects of poor sleep by symptoms in your daily life and some of these symptoms will be compounded over time. You may already be experiencing:

  • Memory problems
  • Weight gain
  • Unexplained headaches
  • Issues with cardiovascular health
  • Daily fatigue


  1. Markwald R, Melanson E, Smith M, et al. Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Apr 2;110(14):5696-5700.
  2. National Sleep Foundation. How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? Accessed March 2020.  

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