Does Sleep Change with Age?
As we go through different developmental stages in life, our bodies require different amounts of sleep. Whether it be 12 hours or 7 hours, it is important for our minds and bodies to feel well-rested so we can last throughout the day. So how much should you really be sleeping, according to your age?
Although the number of hours you need to sleep decreases as your age increases, it is important to meet the amount of sleep you need. Insufficient sleep can cause negative effects such as drowsiness, lack of focus, and sometimes even anxiety and depression . But don’t fret! We’ve gathered the information for you.
Keep reading to know how many hours of sleep you should be getting tonight!
Stages of Sleep
0-3 months: Newborn babies need the most sleep of any age. Since they are at the very beginning of the developmental process, they will typically sleep for 14-17 hours every day. Unfortunately, they do not have a regular sleeping schedule yet, so they will sleep sporadically throughout the day.
4-11 months: Infants will sleep slightly less than newborn babies, yet they’re still in a crucial age where they will need about 12-15 hours of sleep. Since they’re starting to grow, their sleep schedule will not be too consistent, but some infants will begin to sleep through the night.
1-2 years old: Toddlers will typically sleep for 11-14 hours. During this time, they will begin sleeping through the whole night, squeezing in a nap or two throughout the day.
3-5 years old: As kids start going to preschool, they will begin to sleep for 10-13 hours a day. While they will still have their daily nap, most of their sleep will occur during the nighttime. It is important to establish a bedtime routine around this age.
6-12 years old: During this time, children will start going to school, doing homework, and participating in extracurricular activities. Although they will be significantly busier than before, it is important to respect bedtimes and ensure they are still getting 9-12 hours of sleep every night.
13-18 years old: As teenagers, children will have even more responsibilities than before, yet more freedom on deciding to stay up late or go to sleep. Although they consciously decide their bedtime, their brain is still undergoing development, meaning it is still crucial for them to sleep 8-10 hours every night.
19-64 years old: During adulthood, our brains stop their developmental process, meaning the amount of sleep needed decreases. However, it is still crucial for adults to get at least 7 hours of sleep in order for the mind and body to receive sufficient rest.
65 years & up: In the later stages of life, adults will experience more disturbances in their sleep routine. Although it is recommended for adults 65 or older to sleep 7 or 8 hours, they might not sleep throughout the entire night, caused by their circadian rhythm shifting. Senior adults might experience disturbances such as nighttime bathroom needs, body discomfort, pain, and insomnia.
Many senior adults have no problem with their sleep schedule. However, those that have trouble sleeping tend to resort to medication or simply endure poor quality sleep. How can you avoid troublesome sleep? Here are several steps you can take to maximize your comfort throughout the night.
Avoid Electronics Before Bedtime
In today’s world, even older adults are connected to the world of social media and technology. However, when it comes to sleep, electronics should be kept away from your routine. You should avoid the use of electronic devices at least thirty minutes before going to bed. Electronics emit blue light, which tricks the eye into thinking it is exposed to sunlight, making you stay awake for longer.
Substances like alcohol and caffeine encourage urination and prolong the inability to sleep. Avoid these types of substances and try to eat dinner a couple of hours before bedtime to lessen the challenge of falling asleep.
Develop a Nighttime Routine
Instead of scrolling through your phone, develop a peaceful, relaxing routine to complete before going to bed. A relaxing routine may consist of reading a book, journaling, taking a warm bath, or performing a skincare routine.
Exercise may help regulate your sleep. Developing an exercise routine is reported to aid in falling asleep faster, sleeping for longer periods of time, and even improving sleep quality. However, avoid exercising less than three hours before going to bed. The best forms of exercise for senior adults include water aerobics, chair yoga, or simply taking an outdoor walk.
Invest in Quality Bedding
When it comes to our bedding, we tend to go for the most affordable option, without considering how the material of our bedding might affect our sleep quality. Often times, cotton bedding’s moisture-absorbing qualities may cause night sweats and scratchy skin.
Cosy House’s Luxury Bamboo Bed Sheets are made with extra-plush bamboo viscose blend. They stay light and breathable throughout the night. Say goodbye to disrupting night sweats, with sheets cooler than cotton that carry thermal-regulating properties to balance your temperature as you sleep. Additionally, its bamboo viscose blend with polyester resists common non-living allergens. They stay cleaner for longer!
Looking for a pillow to provide you with more comfortable sleep? Cosy House’s Luxury Bamboo Pillow is designed to provide extra support for your head and neck. Avoid neck pain and soreness with our soft, hypoallergenic bamboo viscose pillowcase. Try it out for yourself!
Sleep maintains its importance throughout every stage of life. Don’t let anything keep you from getting the rest you need to go about your day.
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Suni, E. (2022, April 13). How much sleep do we really need? Sleep Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need.
Newsom, R. (2022, March 18). Aging and sleep: How does growing old affect sleep? Sleep Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/aging-and-sleep
Jefferson, R. S. (2017, October 24). How older adults can improve sleep without drugs. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/robinseatonjefferson/2017/10/23/how-older-adults-can-improve-sleep-without-drugs/?sh=784181f31c54