How much sleep do you really need?


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We all know getting quality sleep is crucial for the health of your body—but a lack of sleep or irregular sleep schedule can harm your mental health and make it impossible to focus on tasks during the day. Sleep can affect everything from your energy levels to your memory and can even increase anxiety and stress.


The thing is, there’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation for how many Z’s you should be catching on any given night. In fact, the amount of sleep you should be getting really depends on your age—and other factors like gender and lifestyle play a role too.


To make it easy for you, we’re breaking down exactly how much sleep you need according to your age and sharing tips on how you can make sleep a priority going forward.

How much sleep do you need?

In general, the average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   How, exactly, was that number established? It turns out sleep has been one of the most researched subjects by scientists over the last century—so there’s plenty of information available to back up this stat.


When scientists study the amount of sleep people need by age, they took a few factors into consideration. Usually, they look at the memory and cognitive functions of the people they’re studying, based on the number of hours they spend asleep.


For newborns, toddlers and children, scientists also study their health as it relates to how well they’re growing for their age group. Based on the results, researchers have been able to determine a recommended set number of hours to sleep per age group.

Sleep recommendations by age

Check out this table for a quick breakdown of how many hours of sleep you should be working towards, depending on your age.

Sleep recommendations by age


Is 5 hours of sleep enough?

In short, no. Experts recommend at least seven hours for your body and mind to function at their best.


2018 study published in the journal Sleep found that “cognitive performance, measured using a set of 12 well-established tests, is impaired in people who reported typically sleeping less, or more, than seven to eight hours per night.” Even scarier, “a self-reported typical sleep duration of four hours per night was equivalent to aging eight years,” according to the study.


It’s imperative to your health to try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night; not doing so can have drastic effects on your health in the long run.

Is it better to get 6 or 8 hours of sleep?

It’s definitely better to get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Any amount of sleep less than seven hours can have long-lasting impacts on your health. Continued lack of sleep may have a direct impact on your heart health, mental health, and more.

How much sleep do you need by age?

Here’s a look at how much sleep you should be getting, depending on how old you are:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
  • Pre-schoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours
  • School-aged kids (6-13 years): 9-11 hours
  • Teens (14-17 years): 8-10 hours
  • Young adults (18-25 years): 7-9 hours
  • Adults (26-64 years): 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+ years): 7-8 hours

Following an all-nighter, how much sleep should you get?

All-nighters are extremely disorienting, and you’ll probably feel the negative effects of pulling one immediately. If you want to get back on your sleep schedule after staying up all night, the best way to do so is to aim to resume your regular sleep schedule right away.


If you’re feeling extremely exhausted, you can try taking a quick nap that’s no longer than 30 minutes. This will help give you enough energy to get through the day and make it to nighttime. Then, resume your regular bedtime schedule at night.

What proportion of your sleep should be deep sleep?

Deep sleep, also known as “slow-wave sleep,” is the most restorative stage of sleep and should account for about 75% of the time you spend sleeping at night. Unlike rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, deep sleep slows down your heart rate, breathing, and eye movement.


Deep sleep is when your body repairs itself. If you feel like you’re constantly waking up throughout the night, try tiring yourself out more during the day and then creating a wind-down routine to teach your body it’s time for bed.

How to make sleep a priority

Just because you know how important it is to catch quality Z’s doesn’t mean getting the sleep you need will always come easily. To help improve your sleep habits so you can reach that magic number of seven to nine hours per night, try these expert-proven tips.

Stick to a regular sleep schedule, even on the weekends

We know it can be tempting to sleep until 11 on the weekends if you stayed out late the night before—but it’s not worth the toll it’ll take on your sleep schedule for the week. If you have an existing sleep schedule and wind-down routine set in place, it’ll be easier to stay on track without having to overthink it at times when it feels hardest to do so.

Add relaxing activities to your nighttime routine

One of the most effective ways to get quality sleep is to create a relaxing bedtime routine and stick with it. A few easy ways to unwind before bed include practicing deep breathing, stretching out your body, and creating a to-do list for the next day to ease anxious thoughts.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol too close to bedtime

Although alcohol may help you drift off to sleep faster, the quality of the sleep you receive will be severely diminished. Coffee could also be the secret culprit ruining your sleep at night. Experts recommend avoiding it after 2 p.m.

Set your bedroom to the right temperature

Experts agree 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimal temperature range for quality sleep at night. Your body heat rises at night, and if your bedroom is set to a temperature that’s too warm, you may wake up or stir throughout the night. So lower the temperature in your bedroom for more comfortable sleep.

Stay off your phone before bed

This rule is perhaps the most difficult to abide by, but it’s one of the most important things to master. Staring at blue light before you go to bed will confuse your body’s natural circadian rhythm so that it doesn’t know it’s to wind down. Your best bet is to shut your phone off at least 30 minutes before you go to bed.

Upgrade your mattress and bedding

Your mattress and bedding can go a long way toward improving your sleep. If you’re sleeping on a mattress that isn’t comfortable, chances are you won’t get quality sleep. Take our mattress quiz to find out what’s best for your sleep needs.


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39 facts about marijuana we’re betting you didn’t know


Cannabis is a booming business in states where legalization has been in effect for years and the trend seems on pace to continue.

In fact, more
and more U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical and/or recreational uses. In fact, most
have some form of legalization.

with so much talk of marijuana out there, it’s time to separate the
facts from the fiction. Here are 39 of the most surprising and unusual
facts about marijuana that you may not know:

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to a study,
“9 percent of those who try marijuana develop dependence.”
Compared to other substances like cocaine and heroin, marijuana
dependency is low. However, marijuana is also much more widely used
than other substances.


Niyaz_Tavkaev / istockphoto


with all the confusion around laws and its history of illegality,
say that 42% of Americans have tried marijuana.


Heath Korvola/Getty Images


studies have found that marijuana is safer than alcohol.

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tend to think of Colorado and Washington when we think about legal
weed, but both Alaska and Oregon legalized recreational marijuana use and possession just a few years later.


at California Pacific Medical Center studied a compound derived from
marijuana and discovered that it may
prevent metastasis in some aggressive cancers
. The scientists
were studying CBD, the substance in marijuana that is non-psychoactive.


pushes for legalization, there are still a
lot of arrests
made in the U.S. for marijuana possession. In
2015, 650,000 people were arrested because of violations related to
marijuana. That’s 40% of drug arrests in the country and one arrest
every 50 seconds! And these arrests are still disproportionately
focused on black and Latino communities.


marijuana tends to be stronger
than legal marijuana
. This is partly because legal marijuana is
more carefully measured for consistency and potency.


there are conflicting reports on the effect of marijuana on
teenagers, in adults negative cognitive effects like changes in
memory, perception and thoughts tend to be temporary. There is
currently no evidence that marijuana
, even among heavy users, will permanently damage an adult’s
memory or cognition.


North Korea’s strict stance on other drugs, marijuana is not
even considered a drug
in the country.


the 1700s, both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew
and in the 1800s marijuana was sold in some drugstores for
relief of migraines and menstrual cramps.


to get banned
in the U.S. in the early 1900s. The 1930s saw the
country’s first drug czar, Harry Anslinger, who started to make
claims that marijuana turned youth into homicidal maniacs.


2013, Uruguay
became the first country in the world to allow its citizens to grow,
sell and consume marijuana legally.


has tracked multiple cases where people were sentenced to
life in prison without parole for marijuana possession. In one case,
the person possessed 32 grams of marijuana (that’s just over an ounce). In another, they acted as
a go-between for the sale of just $10 of marijuana.


, legalization produced such a boom in Colorado that medical
marijuana dispensaries outnumbered Starbucks stores by a ratio of 3
to 1.


2015, legal marijuana was the fastest-growing
in the U.S., with a market of $2.7 billion.


Munch served as the U.S. Official Expert on “Marihuana” from 1939 to
1962. During that time he testified under oath that marijuana had
him into a bat


recorded use
of cannabis is from China in 6,000, B.C., when
cannabis seeds were used for food.


oldest stash of marijuana ever found also came
from China
. Researchers discovered 789 grams of dried cannabis
“cultivated for psychoactive purposes” in a 2,700-year-old
tomb in China.


India, Bhang shops
sell cannabis-infused drinks like bhang lassi and bhang thandai,
particularly during the celebration of Holi.


1971 or 1972, the first
online transaction
happened, well before Amazon or eBay. What was
it? Marijuana sold between students at Stanford and MIT.


Marley was
on May 21, 1981, along with his red Gibson Les Paul
guitar, a Bible open to Psalm 23 and a stalk of marijuana.


on marijuana
is technically possible, but extraordinarily
unlikely. In theory, a person would have to consume almost 1,500
pounds of marijuana in just 15 minutes to overdose, making it a
practical impossibility.


2015, legal marijuana outsold
Girl Scout cookies


of marijuana are on
the rise
. Sales in 2020 grew 46% according to one report.


2022, yearly
marijuana sales
in the U.S. could hit $22 billion. This is partly
due to more and more states opening medical and sometimes
recreational marijuana markets.


California changed its marijuana laws in 1976, prankster Danny
Finegood hung curtains over the Hollywood sign to change it to
Hollyweed.” It happened again on New Year’s Day, 2017, when another prankster scaled Mount Lee to change the sign.


1982, a man with a rare and painful type of bone tumor condition,
Irvin Rosenfeld, sued the federal government for access to marijuana
– and won, paving the way for others with qualifying
conditions. Today, he gets his marijuana from the federal government,
picking up 300 joints every 30 days.


A study of pipe fragments from William Shakespeare’s garden revealed traces of cannabis.

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claudiodivizia / istockphoto


his 20th birthday, Bill Murray joked about having bombs in
his suitcase while in an airport. When agents searched his luggage,
they instead found $20,000
worth of marijuana


2017, farmers in Italy started cultivating
in order to decontaminate polluted soil. The plants
helped pull heavy metals out of the ground.


As of
2020, 34 U.S. states have legalized marijuana in some form.


of 6,000 teenagers in the U.K. found that high-achieving
teens were more likely than their peers to drink alcohol and use


was a real Mary
. Mary Jane Rathburn, or Brownie Mary, baked and distributed
marijuana brownies for AIDS patients.


Easter Island statues may have moved. How? With ropes
made of hemp
, the fibers of the marijuana plant.


levels may make some people more
sensitive to THC
, the active ingredient in cannabis. Female rats
were at least 30% more sensitive to the properties of THC, including
pain relief.


may have some therapeutic
for sick pets. But proceed with caution. Dogs and cats
can also die from marijuana toxicosis.


can be allergic
to pot
. Experts found that people are sometimes, though rarely,
allergic to the pollen or smoke of the marijuana plant.


can cause “cannabinoid
hyperemesis syndrome
,” a condition characterized by “cyclic
episodes of nausea and vomiting.”


World War II, the Office of Strategic Services investigated marijuana
as a means of inducing detainees to spill
their secrets

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