The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has updated its recommendations for the amount of sleep we should be getting each night. The new guidelines coincide with the foundation’s 25th anniversary and are the result of a 2 year study which reviewed more than 300 current scientific publications.

Our table shows how the new recommendations compared with the old guidelines. Although recommendations for adult sleep times have not changed, 2 new categories have been introduced, Young Adults, and Older Adults.

AgeNew recommendationsOld recommendations
Newborns (0-3 months )14-17 hrs12-18 hrs
Infants (4-11 months)12-15 hrs14-15 hrs
Toddlers (1-2 years)11-14 hrs12-14 hrs
Preschoolers (3-5)10-13 hrs11-13 hrs
School age children (6-13)9-11 hrs10-11 hrs
Teenagers (14-17)8-10 hrs8.5-9.5 hrs
Younger adults (18-25)7-9 hrs(new age category)
Adults (26-64)7-9 hrs7-9 hrs
Older adults (65+)7-8 hrs(new age category)

‘Rule of thumb’

Recognising that research cannot pinpoint the exact amount of sleep each of us needs, the NSF says its new recommendations should be considered ‘rule of thumb’ amounts that experts agree upon, rather than as a hard and fast set of rules.

The NSF also produced a chart which as well as showing ‘recommended’ sleep durations, also displays two other ranges, ‘May be appropriate’ and ‘not recommended’

New Sleep Guidelines From the NSF Feb 2015

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