Irritable mood, fatigue, low productivity are some of the adverse after effects of sleep deprivation. It is well known that Americans do not get the recommended amount of sleep. In response to this growing health issue, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) convened an 18-member multidisciplinary expert panel to evaluate scientific literature concerning sleep duration recommendations for different age groups.
The NSF brought together sleep experts as well as specialists from other areas that include anatomy, physiology, gynecology, pediatrics, gerontology and neurology to discuss and revise the recommended sufficient sleep duration times needed across an individual’s lifespan.
As per the results published in the Sleep Health, the new recommendations formed by the panel after reaching a consensus, include:
Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep duration between 14 and 17 hours each day (Previously it was 12-18 hrs)
Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range is extended from 12 to 15 hours (Previously it was 14-15)
Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range broadened from 11 to 14 hours (Previously it was 12-14)
Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range stretched by one hour from 10 to 13 hours (Previously it was 11-13)
School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour, 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range broadened by one hour, 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
Adults (26-64): Sleep duration remains 7-9 hours (Previously also it was 7-9 hours)
Older adults (65 and older): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)
The above-mentioned recommendations by the NSF are meant for healthy individuals and not for those who are suffering from any sleep disorder. People who sleep slightly longer or shorter than the recommended range are not at risk. However, people who stray too far away from the recommended range are compromising their health and are vulnerable to serious health problems if their sleep deficiency continues for a longer period of time.
Charles A. Czeisler, Ph.D., MD, Chairman of the Board of the NSF, Chief of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School said, “This is the first time that any professional organization has developed age-specific recommended sleep durations based on a rigorous, systematic review of the world scientific literature relating sleep duration to health, performance and safety.”
David Cloud, CEO of the NSF further added, “The National Sleep Foundation Sleep Duration Recommendations will help individuals make sleep schedules that are within a healthy range. They also serve as a useful starting point for individuals to discuss their sleep with their health care providers.”
Adequate sleep duration varies from person to person. Some may feel refreshed after 7 hours of sleep, whereas some may not feel rested even after 8 hours. Hence, the NSF suggested the following:
(a) recommended time (sleep duration that experts agree are ideal for health)
(b) may be appropriate hours
(c) not recommended hours (sleep duration that is not at all favorable for well-being).
In short, the duration of sleep each individual needs to feel completely refreshed is highly subjective. However, it is proven that a peaceful, sound sleep contributes to your entire well-being as well as uplifting your mood and your productivity at work.
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