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How much sleep is enough sleep?

Healthy Sleep

-Written by Rainbows’ Shirley Fisher RN, CSN  

How much sleep is enough? How much sleep does my child need? How much sleep do I need?

All good questions, right?  To understand what amount of rest is necessary, we look at the importance of sleep and why we need it.  *“Sleep is an important part of good health. Studies show that not getting enough sleep or getting poor quality sleep on a regular basis increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and other medical conditions. In addition, during sleep the body produces valuable hormones. These hormones help children grow and help adults and children build muscle mass, fight infections and repair cells. Hormones released during sleep also affect how the body uses energy. Studies find that the less people sleep, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese, develop diabetes and prefer eating foods high in calories and carbohydrates.”

Who knew?   We all need “Beauty sleep” for so many beneficial health reasons.

The chart below was established by *The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. It is apparent that sleep needs change with age, and individual sleep needs vary. Here are standard guidelines to follow:

Newborns 16-18 hours a day
Preschool-aged children 11-12 hours a day
School-aged children At least 10 hours a day
Teens 9-10 hours a day
Adults (including the elderly) 7-8 hours a day


For more information on good sleep habits and the importance of good sleep, visit these websites: National Sleep Foundation or National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute