0-3 months: 14-17 hours
4-11 months: 12-15 hours
1-2 years: 11-14 hours
3-5 years: 10-13 hours
6-13 years: 9-11 hours
14-17 years: 8-10 hours
18-25 years: 7-9 hours
26-64 years: 7-9 hours
65+ years: 7-8 hours
If hitting your target sleep time seems impossible, then try some of these tips to help get there:
Increase bright light exposure during the day. Keep the blinds up in your office or — if the boss stows you away in a dark hole — buy one of those UV lamps.
Decrease blue light exposure in the hours leading up to bedtime (blue light is caused by electronic devices — TVs, computer and phone screens). But if you’re like most people and spend weekday evenings staring at some sort of screen, then there are apps like f.lux that claim to reduce a device’s blue light emissions.
Cut out the late afternoon coffee. Caffeine stays elevated in the blood for 6-8 hours, so plan accordingly.
Take shorter daytime naps. For some people, napping longer than 30 minutes during the day can worsen your sleep quality. Also, if you’re not used to taking daytime naps regularly, then taking one could throw off your body clock and keep you up at night.
Exercise regularly, but not before bed. In one study, regular exercise halved the time it took for people to fall asleep (working better than drugs). But exercise right before bed could make it harder due to its stimulatory effects.
Cut out alcohol (on nights where you need a good night’s sleep). While a couple of drinks before bed might make you feel drowzy, it may cause disruptive sleep behaviors like snoring (apparently a lot of people wake even themselves up they snore so loud), and may reduce the sleep hormone melatonin.
Rule out a sleep disorder. These fuckers are surprisingly common. One review found that 24% of men and 9% of women had sleep apnea.