How much sleep is enough?

The new recommendations, published by the National Sleep Foundation, involves minor modifications to the suggested ranges for the amount of sleep that kids and youths should get. Most of the latest advice request wider rest ranges than before. Now, there are certain sleep schedules for young and older adults, including middle-aged adults. Initially, the foundation had a standard sleep recommendation for all adults.

To come up with these recommendations, a team of experts surveyed more than 300 scientific researchers on sleep, studies on the health impact of getting too much or too little sleep, published between 2004 and 2014.

Here are latest suggested sleep duration differences for each age group:

• Newborns up to 3 months old: 14-17 hours daily.

• Infants 4-11 months old: 12-15 hours.

• Toddlers ages 1-2: 11-14 hours.

• Pre-schoolers ages 3-5: 10-13 hours.

• School-age children age 6-13: 9-11 hours.

• Teenagers ages 14-17: 8-10 hours.

• Younger adults ages 18-25: 7-9 hours.

• Adults ages 26-64: 7-9 hours.

• 65 and older: 7-8 hours.

According to the CEO of the National Sleep Foundation, David Cloud, he indicated that the new recommendations would assist the individuals to adopt sleep plans that are within a healthy range. The new recommendations also serve as a vital starting point for individuals to analyze their sleep pattern with their health care providers.

The committee also concluded that some people might naturally sleep for longer or shorter durations than the recommendation indicates, without undergoing adverse health consequences. For this reason, the new finding also incorporated sleep ranges that may be suitable for some individuals. For instance, it may be convenient for some people to rest for as long as 10 hours, or as little as 6 hours thus contradicting the initial NSF suggestion that adults ages 26 to 64 should sleep for 7 to 9 hours.

Unfortunately, people with variable sleep durations may have serious health problems or be indulging in volitional sleep restriction. Too little rest has been related to health problems, including decreased productivity, high blood pressure, and drowsy driving. Too much slumber has been connected to health conditions as well, including premature death and heart disease.

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