The quality of our sleep is essential to long-term health. Sleep restores physical and mental fitness. What defines restorative sleep varies with age. Here are some handy numbers you can use to evaluate your own sleep health.


Sleep Quantity

How much sleep do we need?  Our needs for sleep change as we grow and age.*

  • 0–3 months                       14–17 hours
  • 4–12 months                     12–16 hours (including naps)
  • 1–2 years                            11–14 hours (including naps)
  • 3–5 years                            10–13 hours (including naps)
  • 6–12 years                          9–12 hours
  • 13–17 years                        8–10 hours
  • 18–60 years                       7 or more hours
  • 61–64 years                       7–9 hours
  • 65 years +                           7–8 hours

Percentage of American adults who get less than the recommended minimum seven hours of sleep.

  • Age 18-44                            38.3%
  • Age 45-64                            38.6%
  • Age 65 and older               28.1%

* Centers for Disease Control


Sleep quality

Sleep is more than just hours spent in bed. Researchers have identified three stages of sleep, from light to deep, with a fourth stage in which rapid eye movement (REM) indicates dreaming.* Deep sleep is also known as Delta Sleep after the distinctive delta wave pattern of brain activity. This stage is viewed as essential for restorative sleep. Experiencing all four stages constitutes one sleep cycle. The duration of each stage varies through the night, with shorter light stages and longer deep and REM stages.

  • Stage One           Lightest Sleep                   1-7 minutes
  • Stage 2                Light Sleep                         10-25 minutes
  • Stage 3                Deep Sleep                         20-40- minutes
  • Stage 4                REM Sleep                         10-60 minutes
  • Average duration of a cycle                         90 minutes
  • Number of cycles per night                         4-6
  • Percentage of non-REM sleep                    75%

* Sleep Foundation