How Much Sleep Do You Really Need Each Night?

The number of hours of sleep you need to stay healthy and alert varies according to your age.

Teenagers need between 8 to 10 hours of sleep, while adults should get 7 to 9 hours.

Sure, you’re eating your vegetables and fruits andsqueezing in exercise at least 20 minutes a day, but are you getting enough sleep, too? The National Sleep Foundation’s latest sleep recommendations, published March 2015 in the journal Sleep Health, may make you want to think twice about skimping on essential shut-eye. Sleep is key to your physical health and emotional vitality, but just how many hours of sleep you need depends on your age and stage of development.

“Sleep is important for mental function: alertness, memory consolidation, mood regulation, and physical health,” says Phyllis C. Zee, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

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