What time should you go to sleep based on your age?

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Elizabeth I. Molimãng cầu Ortiz, MD, is board-certified in family medicine. She is a primary care provider with Atrius Health in Boston and was the medical director of Charles River Community Health." data-inline-tooltip="true">Elizabeth Molimãng cầu Ortiz, MD, MPH

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How Much Sleep You Need

To decide what your bedtime should be, it"s important to think about how much sleep it takes lớn leave you feeling refreshed. That"s called your sleep need.

Some experts calculate your sleep need according khổng lồ your age. Your genes, environment, and health conditions can also affect how much sleep you need.

Sleep experts say adults should get seven khổng lồ nine hours of sleep, or an average of eight hours, khổng lồ optimize their health.

Some people are short sleepers or long sleepers. A short sleeper may be just fine with less than seven hours of sleep. Long sleepers need more than nine hours lớn feel well-rested.

Children need more sleep than adults lớn feel adequately rested. For young adults & people recovering from sleep debt, sleeping more than nine hours a night might be helpful.

Sleep deprivation, or not getting enough sleep, is associated with depression, heart disease, obesity, weight gain, & other health issues.

Newborns (0 khổng lồ 3 months): Should average 14 to lớn 17 hours of sleep a day, including naps.Infants (4 to 11 months): Should average 12 to 15 hours of sleep per day, including naps.Toddlers (12 to 35 months): Should average 11 to lớn 14 hours, including naps.Preschoolers (3 to lớn 5 years): Should average 10 to lớn 13 hours per day.School-age children (6 to 13 years): Should average nine to 11 hours per day.Teenagers (14 khổng lồ 17 years): Should average eight to 10 hours per day.Younger adults (18 to lớn 25 years old): Should average seven lớn nine hours per day.Adults (26 khổng lồ 64): Should average seven khổng lồ nine hours per day.Older adults (age 65 & over): Should average seven to nine hours per day.

Setting a Bedtime

To set a target bedtime, decide when you need lớn wake up. Then count backwards the number of hours of sleep you need.

Infants may be put lớn bed when sleepy, between about 7:00 và 8:00 p.m.Toddlers may be put khổng lồ bed between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m.Preschool children may be put khổng lồ bed 8:00 và 9:00 p.m.

If your school or work schedule requires you to be up between 5:00 and 7:00 a.m., these are the suggested bedtimes:

School-age children should go khổng lồ bed between 8:00 & 9:00 p.m.Teens should try to go khổng lồ bed between 9:00 và 10:00 p.m.Adults should try to go to lớn sleep between 10:00 & 11:00 p.m.

Schedules, wake times, and even sleep needs can shift, so it helps lớn remain flexible. What one person needs may not be the same as someone else, even if their circumstances are similar. Individual needs vary.

Despite age & sleep need, having a consistent wake time, even on the weekends, is important for better sleep.

Difficulties Meeting Bedtime

It is normal not khổng lồ meet your target bedtime or not to fall right to lớn sleep from time to time. If trouble falling asleep becomes a pattern, you could be dealing with insomnia.

Insomnia in Children

Children who have sầu a hard time falling asleep may be experiencing behavioral insomnia. There are two types of behavioral insomnia—sleep-onphối & limit-setting. Some children may have both types.

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Sleep-onset Insomnia in Children

Sleep-onmix insomnia usually means a child has become dependent on certain soothing routines or objects và "needs" them to lớn fall asleep. They may also need these routines if they wake in the middle of the night.

One way to lớn help your child with sleep-onset insomnia is to lớn build your child's ability khổng lồ self-soothe. Some experts say you could try letting your child "cry it out." There are two ways to lớn bởi vì this. One way is lớn put your child to lớn bed & ignore your child's cries until morning. (It's okay to check on their well-being.)

The other way is to gradually increase the intervals when you comfort your child. For example, parents can comfort a crying child every five minutes, then gradually extkết thúc the period to lớn ten minutes, then fifteen, và so on.

It's important khổng lồ note that experts don't all agree about the best way to lớn help a child fall asleep independently. Some evidence shows that when children "cry it out," the bức xúc hooc môn cortisol goes up and stays up in their bodies days afterward. Some parents also find the "cry it out" technique too stressful.

At least one study showed that, five years after the "cry it out" phase, there were no differences in sleep measures between children whose parents let them "cry it out" và those who didn't.

Limit-setting Insomnia in Children

Limit-setting insomnia most commonly happens when a caregiver doesn't set consistent bedtime rules & keep a regular bedtime. The problem can get worse if the child begins khổng lồ oppose or fight against bedtime routines.

Resetting boundaries is the best way to help limit-setting insomnia. It can be a good idea lớn follow strategies lượt thích these:

Set and keep a consistent bedtimePatiently say no lớn unreasonable demands before sleepSchedule a quiet activity trăng tròn to 30 minutes before sleep

About 75% of teens don't get enough sleep. Early school start times, late night social activities, digital device use, and sleep cycle shifts all play a role. Neighborhoods where there are not enough trees and too much noise can also delay sleep, researchers have found.

Insomnia in Adults

For adults, insomnia can be due lớn your genetics. It can also be related khổng lồ sleep disorders like sleep apnea or khổng lồ psychological conditions such as anxiety và depression.

Insomnia can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, poor attention và concentration, low energy và motivation, và even increased suicide risk.

The good news is that there are several ways to treat insomnia in adults. Medications can be useful as a temporary solution. If you want lớn avoid medications, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTI) is an effective sầu option.

Insomnia can become more of a problem as you age. The National Institutes on Aging reports that menopause, restless leg syndrome, dementia, và sleep apnea can all keep you awake or disrupt your sleep after age 60. If you think a health condition may be keeping you up, talk lớn a healthcare professional or sleep specialist.

Tips và Tricks

You can make it easier lớn go to bed and fall asleep on time. Here are some strategies that may help.

A Good Sleep Environment

Your bedroom can help you fall asleep và sleep more soundly. For most people, it's a good idea to lớn start with a quiet, cool, và dark room. You should also consider whether your mattress & bedding are hurting or helping your quest for a steady bedtime.

A Nighttime Routine

Consistent bedtime routines & relaxation techniques can also be helpful. A night routine prepares your mind & body toàn thân for sleep, helping you unwind before you rest.

Some people have sầu had success with reading, listening khổng lồ music, stretching, or taking a bath. It is best lớn avoid over-stimulating activities before bed, lượt thích watching television or exercising.

Cell phones & electronics should be avoided as much as possible. The artificial light from the screen can shift your sleep timing và make it harder to fall asleep.

Good Sleep Hygiene

Good sleep hygiene starts during the day. Avoid daytime naps. They reduce your overall sleep debt, but they also reduce the drive to lớn go khổng lồ sleep.

You can also spover time outdoors, in sunlight, if possible. Studies show outside light exposure during the day can prevent a delay in falling asleep. Of course, there's such a thing as too much daylight exposure. This is especially true in Arctic regions where it's light at night during summer.

Once you're in bed, limit brain-stimulating activities as much as possible. You want to lớn associate your bed with sleep, not wakefulness. You're trying to train your body that bed means sleep.


Just as your dietary needs change at different ages, your need for sleep changes throughout your life. The need for sleep is greakiểm tra for babies & young children. Teens need extra sleep, too. Most adults need seven lớn nine hours daily.

If you're not getting the recommended amount of sleep for your age, you may want to lớn build a better set of sleep habits to make it easier to lớn meet a target bedtime. Short term sleep sida might help, but if you think you might have sầu insomnia, talk khổng lồ a healthcare provider. It's important for your overall health.

A Word From Verywell

Staying consistent with bedtimes and wake times can be a challenge. It may help lớn create a healthy sleep environment, stiông chồng khổng lồ a relaxing nighttime routine, & practice good sleep hygiene.

If you want to lớn know more about optimal bedtimes for you, consult a board-certified sleep medicine physician. The problem may be an underlying health condition, not your routines.