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Sleep Timing & Duration

How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Need?

Learn how to figure out your particular magic number. Common lore would have you believe that everyone needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night to feel their best—and for the majority of adults, that’s true. However, there is (unfortunately!) no one-size-fits-all answer. Many factors (like age, your body’s base or innate need for sleep, age, sleep quality, pregnancy, and sleep debt) play a role in establishing your particular “magic number.” As you age, your sleep needs change — older adults may need less sleep, seven to eight hours after age 65, for example, than their  younger counterparts. Sleep needs are individual, and change as you age. Newborns,…

Teenagers and Sleeping In: How Long is Too Long?

Find out when sleeping in is normal—and when it is a red flag. The unfortunate truth is that most teens need far more slumber than they are getting: The recommended amount of shut-eye for children ages 14 to 17 is eight to 10 a night, but most rack up just seven-and-a-half hours a night. That’s one to two hours of sleep deprivation, on average, every night, which can lead to major sleep debt and wreak havoc on a teen’s mental and physical health. A hectic schedule and staying up until the wee hours doing homework, watching Netflix, or texting friends is sometimes partly to blame, but a teen’s internal body clock or circadian rhythm…

Get Your Baby to Sleep Longer

Simple solutions for when your little bundle of joy wakes up way too early It’s completely normal for your baby to wake up at 6:00am or 6:30am, all ready to start the day. However, if your little one routinely wakes up before dawn and that schedule is leaving you, the baby, and the rest of your family seriously sleep-deprived, there are tricks you can use to help move the baby’s wake-up time to a later hour. Sleep Training Tips for Children Video production in partnership with

How to Stay Asleep Throughout the Night

End middle-of-the-night awakenings with these tips for sounder slumber. In an ideal world, you’d stay fast asleep from the moment your head hits the pillow until the time your alarm goes off. But, if you’re like many people, you instead spend some of that time counting sheep and struggling to get back to sleep. If it’s any comfort, you’re not alone: Midsleep awakening—also called sleep maintenance insomnia—is a common problem that affects twice as many women as men and is more prevalent in middle age. You can blame the disturbance on many factors, such as the need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, chronic pain, stress,…

How to Get Rid of Sleep Debt

Follow these easy tips to catch up on your zzz’s fast. Think you can learn to survive on less than six hours of sleep a night? Think again. Adults typically need between seven and nine hours of shut-eye a night to function at their best. Between health care expenses and lost productivity, insufficient sleep in the U.S. rings in at an annual cost of about $66 billion. How come? When you’re awake, a chemical called adenosine builds up in your blood, and when you sleep, your body breaks it down. Skimp on sleep, however, and adenosine builds up in your bloodstream, making you more and more desperate to…

How Long Is an Ideal Nap?

Learn how many minutes to doze to feel happier and more alert. To nap or not to nap: That is the question! You may think that taking a catnap will make you feel more tired than skipping it altogether, but that’s not necessarily true. The key to waking up refreshed from a nap is all about timing. Just 20 minutes is all you need to get the benefits of napping, such as improved alertness, enhanced performance, and a better mood. Naps of that length keep you in the lightest stage of non-REM sleep, making it easier for you to get up and go after your snooze session. Be sure to set an alarm so you…

How Long Should It Take You to Fall Asleep?

It may not be as long as you think. If it takes you quite a while to fall asleep at night, then you’re in good company. Many people struggle to slip into the Land of Nod for a wide variety of reasons. It’s normal to take 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep once you climb into bed (this is called sleep latency). If it takes more or less time than that, then your body may be trying to tell you something. If it takes you an hour or longer to nod off: You may be sleeping too much or you may be grappling with insomnia. This can happen if you have trouble…

How Long Should My Child Sleep?

Ages, stages, and other key factors behind kids’ sleep needs Sleep—and lots of it—is an essential part of childhood development. As babies turn into toddlers, and then school-age kids, and then teens, sleep patterns and sleep needs may shift. It’s certainly not easy to keep tabs on how many hours your child gets, let alone whether that’s enough. While no one formula dictates exactly how long every child should sleep, there are some guidelines that can help you determine a target range. Newborns and infants need the most sleep of all, followed by toddlers. Once your child is four and school-age, his or her sleep needs will change yet again, so this is what…

How Long Should My Toddler Sleep?

Figure out how many zzz’s your little one needs. As your child ages, the amount of sleep that he or she needs will naturally decrease slightly. Keep in mind, though, that sleep is very important for kids—since it impacts both their mental and physical development—so make sure that your little one is getting enough. How Much Total Sleep Is Best? As your child moves out of the infant stage, starts walking, and becomes a toddler, the total amount of sleep that he or she needs (nighttime sleep plus naptime sleep) will decrease from 12 to 15 hours per 24-hour day as a four- to 11-month-old to 11 to 14 hours per 24-hour day as a…

Do Our Sleep Needs Change with the Seasons?

Hate waking up when it’s dark out? Find out how winter really affects your sleep habits. If you feel sleepier in the winter and more bright-eyed in the summer, you’re not alone. Your circadian rhythm, which regulates your body clock, is maintained by exposure to light. And in the winter, especially in northern latitudes where the daylight hours are especially short, light can be scarce. While seven to nine hours of sleep is still a healthy benchmark year-round, you may find that you need an hour or two more than you did in the sunny days of summer to feel bright-eyed. Of course, in modern times, with no shortage of electricity to light the post-sunset…