How much sleep do you need? An expert panel releases its recommendations.

Photo credit:Washington Post

Are you getting enough sleep? Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers insufficient sleep a public health epidemic? For this reason, The National Sleep Foundation recently updated its recommendations on how many hours of shut-eye each age group needs.

Here’s what they are suggesting:
When it comes to newborns and babies under three-months-old, 14 to 17 hours of sleep is recommended. Babies between 4 and 11 months old should get between 12 and 15 hours.
Toddlers ages 1-2 should sleep 11 to 14 hours.
Young children ages 3-5 should get between 10 and 13 hours.
Kids between 6 and 13 should aim for 9 to 11 hours of sleep.
Teens ages 14 to 17 need 8 to 10 hours.
Those between 18 and 64 years of age should average 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, while adults age 65 and older require 7 to 8 hours of rest.

Lauren Hale, editor of the journal Sleep Health, explains the importance of getting the right amount of rest: “Sleeping too little and too much are both associated with increased risk of mortality and a range of other adverse health issues: cardiovascular disease, possibly cancer and also impaired psychological well-being.”

Hale is particularly concerned that American teenagers are not getting enough sleep, and she’s not alone. That concern has also led some to advocate for later school start times, especially for teenagers .

The Washington Post, 2/3/15

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