The amount of sleep you need each day will change throughout your life. Although sleep needs vary from person to person, the chart below shows general recommendations for different age groups.
This image reflects recent American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommendations that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has endorsed.
Do you have sleep debt?
If you routinely lose sleep or choose to sleep less than needed, the sleep loss adds up. The total rest lost is called your sleep debt.
For example, if you lose 2 hours of sleep each night, you’ll have a sleep debt of 14 hours after a week.
Some people nap as a way to deal with sleepiness. Naps may provide a short-term boost in alertness and performance. However, napping doesn’t provide all of the other benefits of night-time sleep.
Thus, you can’t really make up for lost sleep.
Some people sleep more on their days off than on workdays, and they also may go to bed later and get up later on days off. Sleeping more on days off might signify that you aren’t getting enough sleep.
Although extra sleep on days out might help you feel better, it can upset your body’s sleep-wake rhythm.
Bad sleep habits and long-term sleep loss will affect your health.
If you’re worried about getting enough sleep, try using a sleep diary for a couple of weeks.
Write down how much you sleep each night, how alert and rested you feel in the morning, and how sleepy you feel during the day.
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