How much sleep do you really need? New study breaks it down by age

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Though it might seem like the question "How much sleep do you need" gets a new answer every other week, the The National Sleep Foundation says its new chart breaks the question down like never before.

The National Sleep Foundation asked 18 scientists and researchers to review more than 300 sleep studies. It just updated the official recommendations.

National Sleep Foundation. (2015)

Image: National Sleep Foundation. (2015). Click for more info.

New to the study, the foundation says, is a range of hours per night that "may be appropriate," giving people a better sense of how far out of the recommendations they can stray before reaching an unhealthy amount.

As part of this change, the study says that "young adults" -- a new category for ages 18-25 -- may be able to get by sleeping 11 hours a night, while more than 10 is considered too much for ages 26-64.

The foundation, which regularly reviews its recommendations, believes its new method will make it easier to understand how much sleep is needed for your specific group.

"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," said Charles A. Czeisler, chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation, in a statement.

A December study found that about two third of Americans get enough sleep for it to be considered good or better for their age range.

Infographic used with permission.

Do you fall in the recommended range of sleep hours for your age group? Let us know in the comments.