New Recommended Sleep Numbers for Seniors
The National Sleep Foundation has been studying sleep since 1990. In this, their 25th anniversary year, they’ve issued new sleep recommendations.
They’ve narrowed the range of recommended sleep for most people, and identified appropriate sleep for a new group of people, those aged 65 and over.
Previously, the final category was “Adults over 25”, but certainly few of us have had consistent sleep habits over the past 40 years.
Many seniors find they need less sleep as they age, and the National Sleep Foundation’s newest findings indicate that seniors do indeed need less sleep.
Recommended sleep is 7-8 hours nightly for people over 65
The recommended sleep for seniors is 7-8 hours nightly, slightly lower than the range recommended for other adults.
Additionally, they’ve broadened the range of an acceptable level of sleep to as low as five hours nightly. For some individuals, 5 to 7 hours can be enough sleep for a healthy lifestyle.
Other individuals may need as much as nine, however the National Sleep Foundation considers sleeping more than nine hours not recommended for seniors.
If you sleep less than five hours or more than nine hours consistently, it can affect your lifestyle, health and even safety. The sleep researchers suggest consulting a physician, because too much or too little sleep can be an indicator in a variety of health issues.
The NSF suggests keeping a “sleep diary” over two weeks. This exercise will help your doctor or sleep specialist identify factors that could affect your sleep. They provide a complementary sample sleep diary (PDF).