How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

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download (3)You’ve heard the standard advice: Get eight hours of sleep a night. But is that true across the board? The answer seems to be that it depends.

Age
As you would expect, infants and toddlers need the most sleep — nine to 10 hours at night plus naps during the day. School-age children, including teens, do best with nine to 11 hours a night. Most adults require seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

While older adults need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults, older adults tend to sleep more lightly and for shorter periods than do younger adults. Older adults often compensate by spending more time in bed at night or napping during the day.

Pregnancy
Changes in a woman’s body during early pregnancy can increase the need for sleep. Yet pregnancy symptoms, including nausea and vomiting, frequent urination, back pain, leg cramps, and heartburn, may make it difficult to sleep.

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