Sleep: What's an 'ideal' night for your age?

modified: 2023-03-09 01:15:02

Sleep is important for the proper development of the body. But you should also know that it varies according to the age of the person.


Is it better to sleep 7 hours? 8 hours ? Or more ? Sleep time needed for full recovery depends on the needs of each individual . While some people feel perfectly rested after a 6 hour night's sleep, on the other hand, others need at least 9 hours of sleep to feel good .

However, the younger we are, the more sleep our body needs . The older we get, the more our sleep time tends to decrease. So, a child must sleep more than 10 hours a day to be healthy, while an adult is usually content with shorter nights.

The ideal sleep duration for children

The amount of sleep needed varies from child to child . Also the exact amount of hours of sleep to respect does not exist. For this reason, sleep recommendations present time intervals, rather than a specific number.

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Here are the average number of hours of sleep that children should usually sleep , with naps:

  • babies aged 4 to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours a day,
  • toddlers 1-2 years old should sleep 11-14 hours a day,
  • children 3 to 5 years old should sleep 10 to 13 hours a day,
  • children 6 to 12 years old should sleep 9 to 12 hours a day.

Considering the repercussions of sleep on the quality of life of children as well as on their physical and mental health, the experts of the Academy emphasize the importance of establishing healthy sleep habits very early in the life of toddlers.

For information, children who respect the number of hours of sleep suggested would be more attentive. They develop more their memory and have better behavior . When they are well rested, children learn more easily and manage their emotions better.

How do you know if children are getting enough sleep?

A child's sleep is enough if he feels rested when he wakes up and does not show signs of fatigue during the day, except before the nap and before the evening sleep.

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Here is some signs that can indicate a lack of sleep :

  • the child struggles to wake up in the morning,
  • he is in a bad mood when he wakes up in the morning,
  • he yawns often,
  • he lacks concentration and is more clumsy,
  • he is irritable, sullen and he grumbles or cries for nothing,
  • he is more impulsive or more aggressive,
  • he loses interest in what he usually likes,
  • he becomes more talkative, louder and hyperactive.

Sleep duration for adults

From the age of 12, sleep duration is reduced by about two hours per night, reaching an average of nine hours. With the transition to adulthood, the need for sleep decreases again . After 20 years, it is necessary to stay in the arms of Morpheus for about seven hours.

However, neurologist Marc Rey points out that the ideal length of a night varies from one individual to another. There are the little sleepers, who are satisfied with six hours of sleep , and “heavy sleepers”, who need nine hours or more to be in shape, explains the specialist, president of the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance (INSV).

Sleep finally becomes lighter and more fragmented with age, but its total duration is not reduced, or very little . In seniors, nocturnal sleep is shorter, but compensated by more frequent and longer naps.

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Marc Rey also specifies that the need for sleep varies according to the sex of the person .

'Several studies have shown that women generally need more sleep than men, mainly due to hormonal factors,' he said.

The benefits of good sleep

Doctors and researchers will never repeat it enough: Sleeping well is essential for our body . Here are some lists to convince more:

  • Sleep strengthens the immune system to defend itself against daily aggressions and small microbes.
  • The helps reduce bad stress and its harmful effects on the body: when you lack sleep, the production of cortisol, nicknamed “the stress hormone”, increases and therefore has an impact on general well-being.
  • Sleep stimulates and consolidates learning: the ability to assimilate information is reduced by 30% if the night is bad.
  • By sleeping, we preserve our youth, because it is during the night that the cells of the skin regenerate: a gesture of beauty much more economical and effective than spreading expensive creams on the face.

Source : CNews

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