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How Much Sleep Should I be Getting?

Parents use bed time stories and other peaceful rituals to lull their children to sleep. But no matter your age, maximizing sleep should become your routine.

A young woman sleeping in a chair

We often forego sleep for other priorities. In fact, in 2012 the Centers for Disease Control reported that more than one-third of Americans consider themselves “sleep deprived.” What’s more, the CDC now calls America’s insufficient sleep a public health epidemic.

Missing out on sleep may not seem like a big deal in the moment, but studies have shown that continuous restless nights have many consequences. According to a study released by the Mayo Clinic in March 2015, sleep deprivation can escalate night-time blood pressure, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease. Other studies have linked sleep deprivation to diabetes, obesity, memory loss, accidental injury, depression and poor performance at work or school.

Some of the biggest sleep “offenders” include new parents and stressed-out adults, but teenagers and children report sleep problems regularly, too. The National Sleep Foundation recommendations for sleep are based on age group. It’s important to set yourself up for success by making sleep a priority.

Recommended Sleep


  • 0 - 3 months old.
  • Recommended sleep is 14 - 17 hours each day.
  • This was previously 12 - 18 hours per day.


  • 4 - 11 months.
  • Recommended sleep is 12 - 15 hours each day.
  • This was previously 14 - 15 hours per day.


  • 1 - 2 years.
  • Recommended sleep is 11 - 14 hours.
  • This was previously 12 - 14 hours per day.


  • 3 - 5 years.
  • Recommended sleep is 10 - 13 hours.
  • This was previously 11 - 13 hours per day.

School aged children

  • 6 - 13 years.
  • Recommended sleep is 9 - 11 hours.
  • This was previously 10 - 11 hours per day.


  • 14 - 17 years.
  • Recommended sleep is 8 - 10 hours per day.

Younger adults

  • 18 - 25.
  • Recommended sleep is 7 - 9 hours per day.


  • 26 - 64.
  • Recommended sleep is 7 - 9 hours per day.

Are you sleepy?

Do you feel like you're not getting enough sleep? Take the Epworth Sleepiness Quiz to help determine whether an appointment is right for you!

Dr. Qazizadeh is board-certified in neurology, sleep medicine, clinical neurophysiology and vascular neurology (stroke). He is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He conducts sleep studies at the Sleep Center of Chesapeake Regional Healthcare.

Featured Image
woman asleep in chair

Albrecht Heyder M.D. is a pulmonologist and sleep medicine physician and serves as the Medical Director at the Sleep Center at Elizabeth City, an affiliate of Chesapeake Regional Healthcare. He received his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va. He also completed a residency and fellowship at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Va. and an internship at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Va.

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