How Much Sleep Do We Need?
Many people are interested to know the ideal quantity of sleep for adults and children, but there is little guidance available. The American Thoracic Society (ATS) reviewed the scientific literature and also relied on empirical evidence and clinical experience to develop recommendations and guidelines.
The ATS notes that “good-quality sleep is critical for good health and overall quality of life. Short sleep duration (6 hours or less per 24-hour period) is associated with adverse outcomes, including mortality. Long sleep duration (>9 to 10 hours per 24-hour period) may also be associated with adverse health outcomes. The optimal sleep duration in adults for good health at a population level is 7 to 9 hours, although individual variability exists….”
The ATS also recommends “better education of physicians as to the effectiveness of cognitive-behavior therapy for insomnia rather than immediate implementation of hypnotics and sedatives....” The authors conclude that good quality and quantity (7 to 9 hours for adults) of sleep are “essential for good health and overall quality of life….”
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Mukherjee S, Patel SR, Kales SN, Ayas NT, Strohl KP, Gozal D, Malhotra D. (2015) An Official American Thoracic Society Statement: The Importance of Healthy Sleep. Recommendations and Future Priorities. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 191(12):1450–1458.