Exactly How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

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People focus on a lot of different “needs” each day, from food to work to social interactions. And sleep is one need that is pushed out of the way to accommodate others, despite the fact that doing so can have a pretty dramatic impact on your overall health.

So how much sleep do you actually need? The reason the medical community is all over the place on this question is because the answer isn’t exactly simple: it depends on the person. While one may be just fine on five hours of uninterrupted slumber each night, another could feel like a zombie on anything less than 9.

Recently, the National Sleep Foundation took an average of everyone and found that the amount of sleep required depended on age. Adults should get a minimum of 7 hours, and upwards of 9 hours, to maintain their health; however, there will always be outliers on either end of the spectrum.

Children require much more, which is a natural side effect of constantly growing physically, mentally, and emotionally. The study found that, ideally, teenagers should get between 8 and 10 hours, while younger kids should get 10 to 11. And newborns came in at a whopping 18 hours for every 24!

So catch some zzz’s, even if you have to forgo a few late nights with friends here or there. Your body will thank you.