How many hours should you be sleeping?

I write a lot about sleep. Why? Because it’s one of the most under-appreciated things we can do for our health and longevity.

Schools continue to debate start times. Employers are thinking about sleep more out of concern for their workers’ wellness. And the science is becoming clearer. We are learning more about how technology use and electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure influences (or doesn’t) sleep quality. Irregular, insufficient and poor quality sleep  are now believed to be major culprits of chronic disease risk, metabolic disruption and obesity.

Last month, the National Sleep Foundation, with the help of a advisers from professional associations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Neurological Association, and the American Physiological Society, issued new age-specific sleep recommendations. The recommendations below are broken into three main categories for each age group: (1) recommended; (2) may be appropriate; and (3) not recommended. The “may be appropriate” ranges are new this time around, which attempts to recognize the variability in individual needs. As someone who thinks we need more of this (i.e. appreciation for diversity in human physiology) in public health guidelines, the way the National Sleep Foundation structured these new recommendations seems like a step in the right direction.

Enough chatter, here they are.

sleep recs


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