The US National Sleep Foundation announced a new Sleep Guideline this year,  based on a systematic review of 300 scientific sleep studies . The guideline has been adopted by Australia's Sleep Health Foundation and recommends wider sleep ranges for all groups, but particularly those over 65yrs and older.

The guidelines recommend the vast majority of people get 7-9 hours sleep a night, but older adults only need 7-8 hours per night. Although with aging, the body clock tends to prefer going to bed earlier, many expect to wake at the same time as when younger . This results in many spending up to ten hours per night in bed, often causing anxiety regarding not sleeping well or enough.

Lack of sleep can cause fatigue, poor concentration, weight gain, reduced memory, mood disturbance, impaired reaction time, poor coordination and judgement , impair the immune system and may lead to health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

It is normal at all ages to wake several times during the night. It is important in those moments not to do small tasks like check the time or phone, but to roll over and try to be relaxed about the thought of getting back to sleep. The Sleep Health Foundation has undertaken research demonstrating that 70% of the population think that a normal night sleep does not involve waking at any time during the night.

The National Sleep Foundation Sleep Recommendations  are :

Newborns   14 - 17 hours

Infants ( 4 - 11 months)   12 - 15 hours

Toddlers ( 1-2 years)   11--14 hours

Pre-schoolers   10 -13 hours

School - age children   9 - 11 hours

Teenagers ( 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

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