How many hours of sleep do you need, what is the right amount for children and what’s sleep deprivation?

How many hours of sleep do you need, what is the right amount for children and what’s sleep deprivation?

GETTING enough sleep is absolutely essential to a healthy life and too little can seriously impact your health.

A third of us suffer from sleep deprivation for some sort of reason but some may not realise just how important a good night’s sleep for our body is…

Sleep deprivation is a condition that a lot of us suffer from and it can seriously impact our health
Sleep deprivation is a condition that a lot of us suffer from and it can seriously impact our health
Getty Images

How many hours of sleep do you need?

The hours recommended varies depending on how old you are, but the NHS says most people need around eight hours per night in order to function properly.

Some people can get by on less, and some say they need much more.

A young adult, aged 18 –64, needs roughly seven to nine hours, and an older person, aged over 65, needs between seven and eight.

What’s the right amount for children?

The NHS has guidelines for children aged one week to 16-years-old.

At your youngest, you need eight hours of sleep during the day and 8 hours 50 minutes at night.

By the time you’re a year old, you need two-and-a-half hours sleep during the day and 11 hours at night.

A three-year-old still needs a 45 minute nap in the day, and around 12 hours at night.

By four you no longer need daytime naps, and by five you only need 11 hours sleep a night.

Over the next few years the amount of sleep you need only varies slightly, from 10 hours and 45 minutes to nine hours and 15 minutes, and from ages 14 to 16 you should aim for nine hours a night.

Sleep deprivation affects one in three of us and
Sleep deprivation affects one in three of us and it’s when someone doesn’t get enough sleep or has bad quality sleep
Getty Images

What is sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is a common condition that can affect anyone and the consequences can have a huge effect on your physical and mental health.

Essentially, sleep deprivation is when someone doesn’t get enough shut-eye or their sleep is poor and around one in three of us suffer from the disorder.

While an occasional night without sleep can make you feel irritable the next day, it won’t harm your health, but several sleepless nights can have a more serious effect.

According to the NHS website: “Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. You’ll start to feel down, and may fall asleep during the day.

“Your risk of injury and accidents at home, work and on the road also increases.

“If it continues, lack of sleep can affect your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.”


  1. Sleep boosts immunity
  2. Sleep can slim you
  3. Sleep boosts mental wellbeing
  4. Sleep prevents diabetes
  5. Sleep increases sex drive
  6. Sleep wards off heart disease
  7. Sleep increases fertility

Source: NHS

What are the symptoms of sleep deprivation?

The symptoms can vary depending on how little sleep you have had, if you’ve had one sleepless night you’re likely to experience fatigue, lack of focus and a short temper.

However, if you’ve had a number of sleepless night you’ll probably suffer from:

  • a foggy brain
  • difficulty concentrating
  • poor decision making
  • feeling down
  • falling asleep during the day
  • more at risk of injuring yourself or others, particularly on the road
  • in more extreme cases you can become prone to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and diabetes

Does Donald Trump really only sleep for four hours a night?

Yes he does, according to a test by Dr Ronny Jackson – who praised the US President for only getting four to five hours-a-night.

The doc added: “He’s probably been that way his whole life – that’s probably why he’s been successful.”

And he’s not the only one – many leaders and CEOs have attributed their success to a lack of sleep.

“How does somebody that’s sleeping 12 and 14 hours a day compete with someone that’s sleeping three or four?” Donald Trump said in 2009, hinting that he’s used those nighttime hours to build his empire.

But, with research showing a lack of sleep can cause irritability, lack of judgement and long-term health conditions, it’s not a lifestyle choice we’d recommend.

A recent medical exam revealed that US President Donald Trump only gets four to five hours’ sleep a night


What do I do if I have problems falling asleep?

It is so frustrating when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep.

Many spend hours tossing and turning in a bid to drift back off – but is there an easier way?

Thankfully a “sleep doctor” has now revealed two things you should definitely avoid doing if you want to go back to sleep.

Sleep expert Dr Michael Breus, author of The Power of When, revealed you should not go to the toilet or check the time if you find yourself awake in the night.

And a team of nutritionists recently revealed the foods that we should be stocking up on to help promote sleep. 

A midwife also revealed handy tricks to getting your newborn to sleep.

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at or call 0207 782 4368 . We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours

Share This


Wordpress (0)