Your Fitbit tells you you’re getting somewhere between 40 winks and 8 hours of sleep each night (plus a little extra on weekends)—but what’s the ideal amount?
Like everything else related to health, it varies for each individual. The National Sleep Foundation has updated its guidelines for recommended sleep to accommodate a spectrum of age groups. “Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health,” the Foundation notes. “To determine how much sleep you need, it’s important to assess not only where you fall on the ‘sleep needs spectrum,’ but also to examine what lifestyle factors are affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep such as work schedules and stress.”
To revise its guidelines, the Foundation gathered 18 scientists to conduct a study that lasted more than two years. 8 hours is probably still the idea—turn off that laptop and go to bed!—but anywhere between 6 and 10 hours could be appropriate. Your teenagers and young adults need a little more, so stop hassling them to get out of bed in the morning.