Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency
Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency

Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency How Much Sleep Is Enough

The amount of sleep you need each day will change over the course of your life. Although sleep needs vary from person to person, the chart below shows general recommendations for different age groups. This table reflects American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommendations that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has endorsed.

Age Recommended Amount of Sleep
Newborns 4 to 12 months

12 to 16 hours a day (including naps)

Children 1 to 2 years old

11 to 14 hours a day (including naps)

Children 3 to 5 years old 10 to 13 hours a day (including naps)
Children 6 to 12 years old

9 to 12 hours a day

Teens 13 to 18 years old 8 to 10 hours a day
Adults 18 years or older

7 to 8 hours a day

If you regularly lose sleep or choose to sleep less than needed, the sleep loss adds up. The total sleep lost is called your sleep debt. For example, if you lose 2 hours of sleep each night, you'll have a sleep debt of 14 hours after a week.

Some people nap to deal with sleepiness. Naps may give a short-term boost in alertness and performance. However, napping doesn't supply all the other benefits of nighttime sleep, so you can't really make up for lost sleep.

Some people sleep more on their days off than on workdays. They also may go to bed and wake up later on days off.

Sleeping more on days off might be a sign that you aren't getting enough sleep. Although extra sleep on days off might help you feel better, it can upset your body's sleep-wake rhythm.

Who is at risk of sleep deprivation and deficiency?

Sleep deficiency, which includes sleep deprivation, affects people of all ages, races, and ethnicities. Certain groups of people may be more likely to be sleep deficient, including people who:

  • Have limited time for sleep, such as caregivers or people working long hours or more than one job
  • Have schedules that conflict with their internal body clocks, such as shift workers, first responders, teens who have early school schedules, or people who must travel for work
  • Make lifestyle choices that prevent them from getting enough sleep, such as taking medicine to stay awake, misusing alcohol or drugs, or not leaving enough time for sleep
  • Have undiagnosed or untreated medical problems, such as stress, anxiety, or sleep disorders
  • Have medical conditions or take medicines that interfere with sleep

If your job or daily routine limits your ability to get enough sleep or sleep at the right times, talk with your doctor. You also should talk with your doctor if you sleep more than 8 hours a night, but don't feel well rested. You may have a sleep disorder or other health problem.

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