The Sleep Doctor’s Sleep Calculator

Not Just More Sleep, But Better

The Ideal Bedtime sleep calculator takes care of sleep quantity. But what about sleep quality? Sleep quality is achieved by sustained rest, with sufficient time spent in each of the four sleep stages—Stages 1-3 and REM sleep—to maintain physical and mental health and function.

Sleep efficiency is one important measure of sleep quality used by sleep scientists and physicians. There’s an easy, low-tech way to measure sleep efficiency that requires no sleep tracking devices or equipment. You need only a few basic pieces of information about your night of sleep:

  • The total amount of time you spend in bed sleeping—or trying to sleep—between bedtime and waking
  • How long it takes you to fall asleep
  • The amount of time you spent awake during the night

Let’s say you spent a total of 7 hours, or 420 minutes, in bed last night.
It took you 25 minutes to fall asleep.
You spent another 25 minutes awake throughout the night, a result of three separate periods of wakefulness.

Here’s how to calculate your sleep efficiency for this night:

  • Total sleep time: 420 minutes
  • Minus time to fall asleep: 25 minutes
  • Minus total time spent awake: 25 minutes
  • Actual time spent sleeping: 370 minutes (6 hours, 10 minutes)

Divide 370 minutes by 420 minutes = 88%. This number represents your sleep efficiency for that night.

In sleep science, we consider 85% or higher a healthy sleep efficiency and a reasonable goal. Ninety percent is considered a very good sleep efficiency. If your number isn’t quite there yet, don’t be discouraged. With attention to your sleep—and a new bedtime—you’ll see this important number start to rise.

You can find this sleep calculator, along with many other useful tools and videos, in the Good Night™ App. Learn how to sleep better, lose weight and boost your energy by downloading the app today.

4 Steps to Calculate Exactly How Much Sleep You Really Need

Scoring enough shuteye is a constant battle-from drinking one coffee too many to stressing when you should be snoozing, it’s no wonder more of us don’t curl up under our desks for a nap-turned-coma. It doesn’t help that most of us have no idea how much sleep we should really be getting since the optimal amount varies from person to person. (Psst…We have The Best Foods for Deep Sleep)

Some of the factors that shape how much sleep we need are out of our hands, such as our age and gender, says Niket Sonpal, M.D., assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harlem, New York. But thanks to a few easy steps, you can stay at the top of your game by honing in on the exact amount of sleep your body needs.

Calculate your (approximate) bedtime

The average sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes, with the average person experiencing five sleep cycles per night-or about 7.5 hours of sleep, says Sonpal. Count back 7.5 hours from the time you have to get up in the a.m., and use this bedtime as a jumping off point.

Start a bedtime ritual

As you adjust to your new bedtime, nix the obvious sleep-ruiners from your routine-drinking too much coffee, binge-watching shows in bed, tossing and turning in super toasty bedding-and create a relaxing bedtime ritual that you can look forward to. Practicing good sleep hygiene is paramount in calculating how much sleep you really need, says Sonpal. If you’re cracked out on caffeine late at night or overdose on artificial light before bed, your body will be too out of whack to score an accurate estimate. (Related: Your Evening Coffee is Costing You Exactly This Much Sleep)

Ditch the alarm clock

A clear indicator that you’re not getting enough sleep is if you use an alarm to drag yourself out of bed in the morning. “Alarm clocks are a good reminder that it’s time to wake up, but you should already be waking up 15 to 20 minutes prior to your alarm going off,” says Robert Oexman, D.C., director of the Sleep to Live Institute in North Carolina. If that’s not the case even with the changes you’ve been making, try going to bed 15 minutes earlier than you have been, and see if you still need an alarm clock to get up. Gradually adjust your bedtime (say, every week or every 10 days) until you’re waking up comfortably sans alarm. On the flipside, if you’re waking up way too early, try going to bed 15 minutes later.

Improve your sleep efficiency

By now, you may have the quantity of sleep you need on lockdown, but the quality still needs work. “There’s a natural dip in our circadian cycle in the afternoon, but if you’re getting enough sleep at night you should be able to ward off the temptation to sleep or lose focus,” says Oexman. If this doesn’t sound like you (at all), start tracking your sleep with the same sleep efficiency calculator used by the pros to see where you fall short, says Sonpal.

Here’s how it works: Take the total number of hours you spent sleeping or trying to sleep (example: 7.5 hours, or 450 minutes), then deduct the amount of time it took to fall asleep (40 minutes) and the time you spent awake during the night (three pee breaks, for a total of 20 minutes). This gives you the actual amount of time you spent asleep (6.5 hours, or 390 minutes). Divide 390 by 450 and your sleep efficiency score is 87 percent.

If you score 85 percent or higher, then it’s a solid indication that you’ve reached your ideal quantity and quality of sleep, says Sonpal. And if not, you’ll know the exact areas you need to work on to improve your percentage. Bam.

  • By Krissy Brady

Sleep Calculator

Use this calculator to compute what time to wake up or go to bed to get a given number of hours of sleep. Use the Hours Calculator if you would like to find out the number of hours slept when you know what times you waked up and went to bed. When counting, please deduct the time taken to fall asleep, which can be very different for different people.

Sleep describes a recurring state in which the body and mind are at rest, reducing muscle activity, interaction with surroundings, and the ability to react to stimuli. The ability to react to stimuli is one of the distinguishing factors between the states of sleep and wakefulness. For the purposes of this page, sleep will primarily be discussed as it relates to humans.

Sleep cycles

The sleep cycle can be defined as the oscillation between non-REM (rapid eye movement) and REM sleep, which will both be discussed below.

Sleep timing is largely based on hormonal signals from the circadian clock. The circadian clock exhibits a regular rhythm that corresponds to outside signals (such as night/day) that can persist even if the outside signals suddenly disappear. An example of this is jet lag, where the body’s circadian rhythm is affected due to rapid long-distance travel which results in the traveler being maladjusted to the local time. The traveler then feels that it is either later or earlier than what their body is used to, affecting their sleep.

Ideally, a person’s sleep cycle follows the circadian clock, but sleep can be affected by numerous factors such as light, social timing (when others are awake, when work is required, etc.), naps, genetics, and more.

REM and non-REM sleep

During sleep, the brain expends significantly less energy than it does when a person is awake, particularly during non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. REM sleep is a type of sleep characterized by a number of aspects including the eye movements it is named for, virtual paralysis of the body, and the occurrence of dreams. Non-REM and REM sleep are two categories of sleep that are vastly different.

Typically, the body cycles between non-REM and REM sleep over a period of 90 minutes on average, and should occur 4-6 times in a good night’s sleep. Non-REM sleep begins, eventually moving into slow-wave sleep, or deep sleep. During this period, body temperature and heart rate fall, and the brain uses far less energy, while restoring its supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule used for storage and transport of energy. During slow-wave sleep, growth hormone is also secreted, which is particularly important for human development.

REM sleep typically comprises a smaller proportion of sleep time, and is most known for being when dreams or nightmares usually occur. Deprivation of REM sleep can result in anxiety, irritability, hallucinations, and difficulty concentrating. Studies have shown that when the body is deprived of REM sleep, subsequent sleep will involve the body increasing the number of attempts to go into REM sleep, as well as increases in the amount of time spent in REM sleep compared to periods of no sleep deprivation. This is referred to as a REM rebound, and is consistent with the belief that REM sleep is necessary for the body. REM sleep, its effects, and its necessity are still not fully understood, and though it is typically considered an important and necessary aspect of sleep, in some cases, deprivation of REM sleep can have transient positive effects.

Sleep quality

Sleep quality can be measured in terms of the degree of difficulty a person has falling asleep and staying asleep, as well as the number of times a person typically wakes up in a single night. It can also be measured more subjectively in terms of how rested a person feels upon waking.

Having poor sleep quality disrupts the sleep cycle and the transitions between the various stages of sleep. In order to have good sleep quality, the need to sleep must be balanced against the circadian element of sleep. Ideally, the timing of sleep must be balanced such that the maximum concentration of the hormone melatonin and the minimum core body temperature occur after the middle of the sleep episode, and before awakening.

How much sleep do I need?

Sleep is far from perfectly understood, and the amount of sleep a person needs can vary largely based on certain metrics, such as age, as well as entirely individually. A person who sleeps an adequate amount should experience no daytime sleepiness or dysfunction.

Very generally, researchers have found that achieving 6-7 hours of sleep per night correlates with a number of positive health outcomes, but there are also many other factors that may affect these outcomes.

As a person ages, they tend to sleep less, with newborns sleeping for significantly longer hours than adults. This discrepancy decreases with age, and the sleep requirements become more similar to that of adults starting around the age of 5.

Below are the CDCs recommendations for number of hours a person should sleep based on age.

Age Group Recommended Hours of Sleep Per Day
0–3 months 14–17 hours
4–12 months 12–16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
1–2 years 11–14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
3–5 years 10–13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
6–12 years 9–12 hours per 24 hours
13–18 years 8–10 hours per 24 hours
18–60 years 7 or more hours per night
61–64 years 7–9 hours
65 years and older 7–8 hours

NATIONAL SLEEP FOUNDATION — How much sleep do you want? NSF’s Bedtime Calculator™ is now available to help you figure out what time to go to bed or wake up for better sleep health.

As a sleeping tool, the Bedtime Calculator conveniently calculates what time you should go to sleep or wake up based on the number of sleeping hours you want. NSF is making this tool available free to the public in its effort to promote public awareness of the need for sufficient, restful sleep for individual and societal health and safety. The Bedroom Calculator is available at sleepfoundation.org/bedtimecalculator.

NSF encourages everyone to get the sleep they need. NSF recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for adults aged 18-64 and 7-8 hours for older adults aged 65 and over.

  • To get a good night’s sleep, follow these simple and effective sleep tips:
  • Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Beware of hidden sleep stealers, like alcohol and caffeine.
  • Turn off electronics before bed.

Rest is best: Get the right amount of sleep for good health

By Gary Pransky, M.D.
Winthrop – Family medicine

Reading from a mobile device in bed may be comforting, but the light can prevent restful sleep.

This might sound familiar: You wake up late because you overslept. You rush to get ready, drive to work with your head still in a fog, and load up on coffee before and after lunch just to make it through the day. You have trouble concentrating and don’t get everything done, so you bring work home and stay up late to finish that report that’s due tomorrow.

Before you know it, it is tomorrow. You fall in bed at 1 a.m., exhausted and aware that in just a few short hours you’ll do it all again.

We live in a sleep-deprived society. We try to cram more hours into the day to spend more time at work, at school, with family and friends, and on hobbies. We have more and more to do, and we get less and less sleep as a result.

Many people think of sleep as a luxury — the first thing to sacrifice when we really need to buckle down and get things done. But sleep isn’t a luxury, it’s a biological requirement, just like the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Not getting enough quality sleep puts us at risk for many different health problems.

How much sleep do we need?

Sleep isn’t a one-size-fits-all activity. The amount of sleep I need to be healthy may be different from the amount you need.

But there are general guidelines we can use. The amount of sleep we need varies depending on our age:

  • Newborn babies need 16 to 18 hours of sleep per day
  • Preschool-aged children need 11 to 12 hours
  • School-aged children need at least 10 hours
  • Teenagers need nine to 10 hours
  • Adults need seven to eight hours

That sleep needs to be consistent, and it needs to be all at night if possible. Napping during the day doesn’t provide the same benefits as healthy nighttime sleep.

How does Massachusetts measure up on sleep?

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out, 65.2 percent of U.S. adults surveyed report getting at least the seven minimum hours of sleep per night. That means more than one-third of adults in the United States report getting less sleep than their bodies need.

Massachusetts adults are slightly better than the national average — but only slightly. In its most recent survey, the CDC reported 65.5 percent of Massachusetts adults get the minimum seven hours of sleep per night, which means 34.5 percent of us aren’t getting enough sleep. And the problem’s even worse in counties like Bristol, Hampden, and Plymouth, according to the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. Nearly 40 percent of adults in each of those counties reported not getting enough sleep.

We can look at different demographic groups to get a clearer picture of the people in our commonwealth who need more sleep:

  • Adults between the ages of 25 and 44 were more likely to report getting insufficient sleep compared to adults ages 45 and older
  • Adults with a child in the home were more likely to report not getting enough sleep
  • African-Americans and American Indians were more likely to report sleep problems compared to people of other races
  • More women than men reported not getting enough sleep
  • Obese people were more likely to report sleep problems compared to people who are overweight or at a normal weight

What can contribute to our lack of sleep (or lack of quality sleep)?

Several medical conditions can contribute to sleep deprivation. Some of the more common ones listed by the National Sleep Foundation include:

  • Acid reflux, possibly caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Chronic pain and/or low back pain
  • Neurological conditions, like Parkinson’s disease

Sleep apnea also is a major contributor to sleep problems. Sleep apnea is a condition in which the trachea (windpipe) becomes partially or totally blocked while you sleep, which can cause you to stop breathing. If you have sleep apnea, you may wake up many times during the night to restart your breathing.

The clock can contribute to a lack of quality sleep as well. People who work late shifts (truck drivers, manufacturing workers, etc.) and people whose sleep is interrupted on a regular basis (firefighters, emergency medical technicians, caregivers, etc.) often have sleep-related difficulties.

How is sleep deprivation harmful?

As noted in the 2006 book Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem, sleep loss has been associated with many different cognitive (thinking/mental processing) problems. Some of the ways a lack of sleep affects your mental performance include:

  • Difficulty thinking
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Increased errors in work
  • Irritability/grumpiness
  • Lower reaction time
  • Problems learning new material
  • Reduced performance of tasks, especially the longer these tasks take
  • Trouble with short-term memory

A lack of sleep also has been associated with several mental and behavioral health problems in several studies of high school students. These problems include depression, anxiety, behavioral problems, alcohol use, and more.

But the problems linked to not getting enough sleep don’t stop with our brains. We are at risk for many different health problems if we don’t get enough sleep, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Obesity
  • Stroke

Find the patterns in your sleep problems

One good way to figure out the root cause of your sleep difficulty is to keep a sleep diary. Write down your sleep habits for 10 to 14 days before you see your doctor about your trouble sleeping. Make sure you include information about:

  • When you go to bed
  • When you fall asleep
  • When you wake up
  • When you get out of bed
  • If you take naps during the day (and when those are)
  • When you exercise (and for how long – fitness trackers from Fitbit, Jawbone, and others can help with this)
  • When you drink alcohol
  • When you drink coffee, tea, soda, or other drinks with caffeine

Based on this information, your doctor will work with you to correct what’s keeping you up at night. When patients visit my Winthrop office, I often recommend regular exercise in the morning. It’ll reduce your stress, jump-start your body for the day ahead, and help maintain your body’s normal biological rhythms. A regular bedtime will also help train your body for a normal sleep schedule. I recommend patients avoid caffeine or alcohol at night, as these can disrupt sleep patterns.

Light up your mornings – not your nights

Exposure to light is another factor in your body’s natural rhythms. Sunlight is the body’s natural cue to be awake and alert. Regular exposure to sunlight in the morning — during a walk, for example — will help you be more alert and refreshed throughout the day. Walking in the afternoon or early evening might actually reset your biological clock and keep you awake at night because of your sunlight exposure.

A different kind of light can also contribute to our restless nights — the light from our electronic devices, that is. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and TVs give off blue light, which Harvard researchers have linked to the suppression of melatonin (a hormone your body produces to regulate your biological rhythms). When we check our smartphones for texts and emails, read on our tablets, work on our laptops, or even watch TV in bed during the night, we’re throwing off our natural sleep rhythms and signaling our brains that it’s time to wake up. Turning off the screens (or using blue light filters or apps for our phones and tablets) can reduce our nighttime exposure to blue light.

Turning off or filtering our phones may help, but what about this classic scenario? It’s 3 a.m. You look over at the alarm clock and think, “If I fall asleep now, I’ll get two and a half hours of sleep before I have to get up.” Sleep centers have found that one simple way to improve sleep is to just turn the alarm clock around so you can’t see the time. You’ll still get up on time if you leave the alarm set, but you won’t be robbing your mind and body of precious rest by staring at the clock all night.

A consistent, healthy sleep schedule

For people who work nontraditional shifts, though, the problem of poor sleep is a greater challenge. When my patients who work second and third shift come to me with sleep problems, I tell them to keep their work schedules if they can. This is hard, because you probably want to be with your family and friends on weekends or when you’re off work. But coming off your schedule is a shock to your body, and it takes time to adjust. By the time you do, it’s often time to go back to work, so you have to adjust all over again.

My best advice is to try to get on a normal nighttime sleep schedule if possible. Our natural rhythms revolve around being awake during the day and sleeping at night. Your body never really gets used to sleeping during the day and working all night.

We may feel pressured to give up sleep to spend more time with our families or get more done for work. But we wouldn’t give up breathing to finish a report. We need to think of sleep the same way — as a requirement our bodies just can’t do without.

Tags: family health, family medicine, internal medicine, men’s health, Winthrop, women’s health

How Much Sleep Do I Need?

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Most teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. Getting the right amount of sleep is important for anyone who wants to do well on a test or play their best in sports. Unfortunately, many teens don’t get enough sleep.

Why Don’t Teens Get Enough Sleep?

Teens often got a bad rap for staying up late, oversleeping for school, and falling asleep in class. But teen sleep patterns are different from those of adults or younger kids.

During the teen years, the body’s

rhythm (an internal biological clock) is reset, telling a person to fall asleep later and wake up later. This change is likely due to the brain hormone , which is released later at night for teens than it is for kids and adults. This can make it harder for teens to fall asleep early.

Changes in the body’s circadian rhythm coincide with a busy time in life. For most teens, the pressure to do well in school is more intense and it’s harder to get by without studying hard. And teens have other time demands — everything from sports and other extracurricular activities to working a part-time job. Using electronics — including phones, tablets, and computers — also makes it hard to fall sleep. Many teens are up late texting friends, playing games, and watching videos.

Early school start times also play a role in lost sleep. Teens who fall asleep after midnight still have to get up early for school, meaning that they might squeeze in only 6 or 7 hours, or less, of sleep a night. A few hours of missed sleep a night may not seem like a big deal, but it can create a noticeable sleep deficit over time.

Why Is Sleep Important?

Sleep is important for you to be at your best. Teens need sleep to:

  • pay attention and learn in school
  • improve athletic performance
  • grow and develop normally
  • be healthy

Lost sleep can lead to poor grades, relationship problems, and drowsy driving. Falling asleep while driving can cause serious car accidents.

People with ongoing sleep deficits can have:

  • health problems, like heart disease and obesity
  • trouble fighting infections
  • emotional problems, like depression

Am I Getting Enough Sleep?

Even if you think you’re getting enough sleep, you might not be. You may need more sleep if you:

  • have a hard to wake up in the morning
  • have trouble concentrating
  • are falling asleep during classes
  • feel irritable, moody, sad, or depressed

How Can I Get More Sleep?

Here are some things that may help you to sleep better:

Set regular bed and wake up times. Try to stick to your sleep schedule, within an hour or two, even on weekends.

Exercise regularly. Regular exercise can help you sleep better. Try not to exercise right before bed, though. Exercise can rev you up and make it harder to fall asleep.

Avoid caffeine. Don’t drink beverages with caffeine, such as soda, tea, and coffee, after dinner. Nicotine (smoking and vaping) and alcohol in the evening can make a person restless and interrupt sleep.

Unwind by keeping the lights low. Light signals the brain that it’s time to wake up. Staying away from bright lights (including device screens), listening to soothing music, or meditating before bed can help your body relax.

Turn off electronics. Don’t use your phone (including texting), tablets, computer, or TV at least 1 hour before you go to bed.

Don’t nap too much. Naps of more than 30 minutes during the day and naps too close to bedtime may keep you from falling asleep later.

Create the right sleeping environment. People sleep best in a dark room that is slightly on the cool side. Use a nature sounds or white-noise machine (or app) if you need to block out a noisy environment.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD Date reviewed: February 2019

5 Tips For Figuring Out How Much Sleep You Really Need

In theory, sleep takes up about 8 out of every 24 hours, one-third of our lives. But many of us don’t actually sleep that much and are tired all the time – more than a third of Americans don’t get the seven to nine hours of sleep a night that the CDC recommends.

Yet we spend additional time worrying about our sleep. According to research by the National Sleep Foundation, more than a third of Americans say their sleep quality is “poor” or “only fair”. But how much sleep do we really need?

First, let’s get the bad news out of the way: there isn’t going to be a one size fits all answer – sleep needs really do vary from person to person.

You could be one of those incredibly rare people that can actually get by on a few hours of sleep a night (almost definitely not), or you could be on the opposite end of the spectrum, what doctors refer to as a “long sleeper” who might need 11 hours a night.

But there are some things we do know about sleep, and these can help you figure out how much sleep you actually need – and how to better get a night’s rest.

Here are five facts that will help you figure out what your personal sleep patterns are and how they compare to the rest of the population.

1. There’s a reason that doctors usually recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep

The amount of sleep that people need falls into a bell curve type distribution, with the vast majority of the population needing between 7 and 9 hours of rest each night to be refreshed.

This chart, from the book Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired by German chronobiologist Till Roenneberg, shows the general distribution of sleep needs. (Chronobiology is the science of our internal clocks.)

Till Roenneberg

2. You have a natural chronotype, or body clock, that determines when you are most comfortable sleeping and being awake

Most of us think of ourselves as morning or night people, but those divisions aren’t scientific – they’re just ways of comparing ourselves to one another.

“Where you define owl or lark is really arbitrary,” says David Welsh, an associate professor studying circadian clocks at UC San Diego.

Welsh says that if you look at large surveys of populations, you get a normal distribution of chronotypes – most people have fairly ‘average’ chronotypes, some prefer to get up a bit earlier or later, and small groups naturally rise extremely early or late.

There’s no line that distinguishes different chronotypes.

But we all do have an internal schedule that makes us feel awake or sleepier at different times of day. Because of factors including hormone levels, genetics, and light exposure, some of us are more alert in the mornings and some of us prefer times later in the day.

If your schedule isn’t aligned with your chronotype, you will feel tired and out of sync.

National Sleep Foundation

3. The amount of sleep you need changes throughout your life

The seven to nine hour recommendation is standard for adults, but kids need much more sleep, while some older people need less.

This chart by the National Sleep Foundation shows how these requirements change as kids grow up.

In addition to length of sleep needs changing, chronotypes change throughout life as well.

According to Roenneberg’s book, young children naturally tend to be more morning oriented. Around puberty, they’re more likely to shift into a night owl chronotype, which tends to shift back to an earlier chronotype after age 20.

4. There are some things you can do to adjust your natural chronotype

While your sleep needs (both chronotype, when you are alert, and length, how much sleep you need) are mostly genetic, there are certain things you can do to adjust your schedule and at least make it a bit easier to get up earlier.

Our bodies respond to light, especially the powerful natural light of the sun. Being exposed to that light in the morning tells our body that it’s time to be alert and moving.

At night, sitting in the dark stimulates the production of the hormone melatonin, which helps us relax and fall asleep (we mess with this process by looking at bright light from smartphones).

But we can adjust this to a degree by controlling our exposure to light. This process, called entrainment, is what our bodies have to do when we go to a different time zone – this is why we get jet lagged.

But we can also use this to train our bodies to get up and go to sleep earlier by exposing ourselves to natural light in the morning and avoiding bright light at night.

This won’t turn you into a morning person, but it can make prying the covers loose just a little less painful.

5. Your sleep needs are personal; try to figure out what works for you

Sometimes new research will come out, and people will claim something like “studies have found that seven hours is the optimal amount of sleep – not eight”.

But as interesting as any sleep research is, we do know that people are different and have different needs.

The findings of one study don’t translate into recommendations for everyone. In the case of sleep, experts recommend figuring out what personally works best for you.

If you can let yourself sleep naturally for a few days to a week, going to bed when you are tired and waking up whenever is natural, preferably while limiting alcohol and caffeine, you’ll have a better idea of your individual needs.

Get some sun during the day, along with some exercise.

If you do all that but still have trouble sleeping, it might be time to talk to a doctor. You could be one of the large percentage of the population with undiagnosed sleep apnea, especially if you snore.

Or you could have some other disorder that can be addressed.

It’s worth taking the time to figure out what you can do to sleep better though. Not getting enough raises some serious health concerns.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

More from Business Insider:

“Millions of individuals trust the National Sleep Foundation for its sleep duration recommendations. As the voice for sleep health it is the NSF’s responsibility to make sure that our recommendations are supported by the most rigorous science,” says Charles Czeisler, MD, PhD, chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation and chief of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, “Individuals, particularly parents, rely on us for this information.”

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Though research cannot pinpoint an exact amount of sleep need by people at different ages, our new chart, which features minimum and maximum ranges for health as well as “recommended” windows, identifies the “rule-of-thumb” amounts experts agree upon.

Nevertheless, it’s important to pay attention to your own individual needs by assessing how you feel on different amounts of sleep.

  • Are you productive, healthy and happy on seven hours of sleep? Or does it take you nine hours of quality ZZZs to get you into high gear?
  • Do you have health issues such as being overweight? Are you at risk for any disease?
  • Are you experiencing sleep problems?
  • Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
  • Do you feel sleepy when driving?

These are questions that must be asked before you can find the number that works for you.

Sleep Time Recommendations: What’s Changed?

“The NSF has committed to regularly reviewing and providing scientifically rigorous recommendations,” says Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, Chair of the National Sleep Foundation Scientific Advisory Council. “The public can be confident that these recommendations represent the best guidance for sleep duration and health.”

A new range, “may be appropriate,” has been added to acknowledge the individual variability in appropriate sleep durations. The recommendations now define times as either (a) recommended; (b) may be appropriate for some individuals; or (c) not recommended.

The panel revised the recommended sleep ranges for all six children and teen age groups. A summary of the new recommendations includes:

Improve Your Sleep Today: Make Sleep a Priority

To begin a new path towards healthier sleep and a healthier lifestyle, begin by assessing your own individual needs and habits. See how you respond to different amounts of sleep.

Pay careful attention to your mood, energy and health after a poor night’s sleep versus a good one. Ask yourself, “How often do I get a good night’s sleep?” Like good diet and exercise, sleep is a critical component to overall health.

To pave the way for better sleep, follow these simple yet effective healthy sleep tips, including:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Beware of hidden sleep stealers, like alcohol and caffeine.
  • Turn off electronics before bed.

If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms such as sleepiness during the day or when you expect to be awake and alert, snoring, leg cramps or tingling, gasping or difficulty breathing during sleep, prolonged insomnia or another symptom that is preventing you from sleeping well, you should consult your primary care physician or find a sleep professionalto determine the underlying cause.

You may also try using the National Sleep Foundation Sleep Diary to track your sleep habits over a one- or two-week period and bring the results to your physician.

Most importantly, make sleep a priority. You must schedule sleep like any other daily activity, so put it on your “to-do list” and cross it off every night. But don’t make it the thing you do only after everything else is done – stop doing other things so you get the sleep you need.

View our Sleep Recommendations Chart and our Sleep Infographic.

For more information on healthy sleep, visit National Sleep Foundation’s new publication, Sleep.org, today! To view the full research report, visit SleepHealthJournal.org.

How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Need?

Learn how to figure out your particular magic number.

Common lore would have you believe that everyone needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night to feel their best—and for the majority of adults, that’s true. However, there is (unfortunately!) no one-size-fits-all answer. Many factors (like age, your body’s base or innate need for sleep, age, sleep quality, pregnancy, and sleep debt) play a role in establishing your particular “magic number.” As you age, your sleep needs change — older adults may need less sleep, seven to eight hours after age 65, for example, than their younger counterparts.

Sleep needs are individual, and change as you age. Newborns, for example, need a total of 14 to 17 hours of sleep a day. Infants need 12 to 15 hours a day, and teens need 8 to 10 hours.

Determining How Much Sleep You Need

Ask yourself three questions to figure out whether the amount you’re currently getting is enough to keep you healthy and happy.

1. How long does it take you to fall asleep? In an ideal world, you should fall asleep 15 to 20 minutes after you hit the sheets. If you lay awake, longer, a number of factors could contribute – anxiety, caffeine, a large meal or even (gasp!) too much sleep. On the other hand, if you barely make it to the bed before nodding off, you’re probably not sleeping enough.

2. Do you need an alarm to wake up? If you’re almost always awake before your alarm goes off, or if you’re waking up multiple times during the night (and it’s not due to drinking too many liquids before bed, sipping on coffee or alcohol in the evening or an underlying sleep problem or medical condition), your brain may be trying to tell you that it’s had enough sleep. Alternatively, if you struggle to wake up in the morning when the alarm goes off, you most likely need more sleep or need to adjust your sleep schedule.

3. How do you feel? Keep a daily sleep diary by using a free or low-cost app on your smart phone or tablet. If you don’t like gadgets and would rather do it the old-fashioned way, grab a journal or the National Sleep Foundation Sleep Diary and write down what time you go to bed and get up, along with how you feel during the day. This will help you notice patterns and figure out which type of sleep routine suits you best. Don’t ignore feelings of fatigue, moodiness or anxiety—this could be your body’s way of telling you that you need more slumber.

You might find that you’re already getting an optimal amount of sleep (if so, bravo!), but when that’s not the case, take action.

Although it’s rare, there are people who get too much sleep. If you’re one of them, push your bedtime later in 15-minute increments. If you’re getting too little sleep, do the opposite—push your bedtime earlier in 15-minute increments. If you’ve tried this for several weeks and you still don’t wake up feeling refreshed, talk to your doctor to see if they can suggest another solution.

If you’ve been deprived of sleep recently, you may have what’s called sleep debt. Learn how to factor that in and get your body back on track.

Inputs data – Your date of birth

  • The average adult sleeps from 6 to 8 hours. However, the need for sleep varies with age. Newborns can sleep even 16 hours a day, while for seniors older than 50 years old only 6 hours can be sufficient.
    Below, there are summarized average need for sleep depending on age:
    • Newborns – 16 hours,
    • Babies 3-5 months old – 14 hours,
    • Babies 6-23 months old – 13 hours,
    • Children 2-3 years old – 12 godzin,
    • Children 4-5 years old – 11 hours,
    • Children 6-9 years old – 10 hours,
    • Teens 10-13 years old – 10 hours,
    • Teens 14-18 years old – 8 hours,
    • Adults 19-30 years old – 7-8 hours,
    • Adults 31-49 years old – 7 hours,
    • Adults 50-70 years old – 6 hours.
  • If you want to know what more we can read from your date of birth check out our other calculators:
    • Life time – how long it’s been since your date of birth, in other words how old are you,
    • Sleep time – how big part of your life have you slept,
    • State pension age – check when you can retire,
    • Zodiac sign – what is your zodiac sign,
    • Chinese zodiac – what is your Chinese zodiac sign,
    • Celtic horoscope – check out what tree are you,
    • Bird horoscope – check out what bird are you,
    • Flowers horoscope – check out what is your flower,
    • Gypsy horoscope – check out what is your lucky card,
    • Japanese horoscope – calculate your care number,
    • Moroccan horoscope – check out what is your body part,
    • Roman horoscope – check out what is your fruit.

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