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New recommendations for sleep

There are guidelines and rules for almost everything we do – even for how to get the best night’s sleep. But if you suffer from sleep problems such as insomnia, you’ll probably be happy to get all the help you can.
In February, the National Sleep Foundation (NFS) in the United States (yes, it does exist!) published its new set of sleep guidelines.
Let’s peek beneath the sheets to see what the new guidelines suggest we do for a better slumber:

The issue with sleep

Incredibly, up to 70 million Americans reportedly suffer from sleep deprivation. That’s a lot of people tossing and turning, and not getting the well-earned rest they need for optimal health and wellbeing.
In Australia, the stats aren’t much better. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, 10 percent of Aussie adults – that’s 2 million people – suffer from a sleep disorder, clinical insomnia, or sleep apnea. And it’s putting a $5.1 million dent in the economy. Not only that, but that slide in life enjoyment attributed to poor sleep costs an extra $31.4 billion each and every year.

New sleep guidelines

The new guidelines were the result of a 12-month review conducted by the NFS in the US, assessing studies and literature on sleep. And it took a panel of 18 sleep experts, including spokespeople from the American Neurological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics to reveal the findings.
The guidelines are:
  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours each day (previously 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours (previously 14-15)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours (previously 12-14)
  • Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours (previously 11-13)
  • School-age children (6-13): 9-11 hours (previously 10-11)
  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours (previously 8.5-9.5)
  • Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours (new age category)
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours (new age category)
Source: CBS
The review also pointed out that today’s teens spend longer staring at screens and saying up later, hence the new recommendation for slightly more shut-eye.
In Australia, the Sleep Health Foundation has also published its own set of sleep tips. See the website to view.
So, are you getting enough sleep?

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