The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort! But even minimal sleep loss can take a substantial toll on your mood, energy, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stress. And over the long-term, chronic sleep loss can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health.
Sleep Needs by Age and Gender - Hours of Sleep Needed - Start Sleeping
How much sleep do we really need, and what happens if we get too little or too much? We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, so you've asked an important question. The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to eight hours of sleep for people over age 64 and seven to nine hours for ages 18 to Kids need more sleep. Studies have asked large numbers of people how many hours of sleep they actually average and followed the health of these people over decades. That's worrisome, because the average person has worse health outcomes including more obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and shorter life if he or she sleeps less or more than these ranges, on average.
Well, there's unfortunately no one-size-fits-all number. It depends on your genes, how healthy you are, and how active you are during the day, among other factors. Yet, for most adults, getting between seven and nine hours a night is the sweet spot to ward off daytime sleepiness and feel healthy. As you age, however, your sleep needs do decline slightly -- after age 65, you will likely need between seven and eight hours nightly.
The short answer: adults need 6 to 9 hours per night. Around 7 to 7. The long answer: it depends.