How many hours of sleep do you need? Here's an updated guide

This picture taken on Jan 19, 2015, shows a Chinese woman sitting beside two sleeping babies on a display bed at a furniture store in Beijing. The National Sleep Foundation, an authority on official sleep guidelines in the United States, has rel
This picture taken on Jan 19, 2015, shows a Chinese woman sitting beside two sleeping babies on a display bed at a furniture store in Beijing. The National Sleep Foundation, an authority on official sleep guidelines in the United States, has released new recommendations on the hours of sleep different groups of people need. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON - The National Sleep Foundation, an authority on official sleep guidelines in the United States, has released new recommendations on the hours of sleep different groups of people need.

According to the guidelines unveiled on Monday, newborns would benefit from more snooze time. Newborns between 0 and 3 months should sleep 14 to 17 hours a day, compared to between 12 and 18 hours recommended previously.

Children between three and five years old, meanwhile, can afford to sleep a little less. They should sleep 10-13 hours, compared to 11-13 hours previously.

There is no change for those aged 26-64, who should still try to clock seven to nine hours of snooze time.

The foundation also introduced two new age groups - younger adults aged between 18 and 25 who need seven to nine hours of sleep, and those who are 65 and older, who need seven to eight hours of sleep.

The recommendations were part of a regular update and review conducted by the foundation.

The new guidelines were put forward after more than two years of research by 18 leading scientists and researchers, according to the foundation's website.

The panelists, who included sleep specialists, reviewed over 300 current scientific publications and voted on how much sleep is appropriate throughout the lifespan.

"Millions of individuals trust the National Sleep Foundation for its sleep duration recommendations. As the voice for sleep health it is the NSF's responsibility to make sure that our recommendations are supported by the most rigorous science," said Mr Charles Czeisler, chairman of the foundation's board.

Along with the prescribed number of hours, the foundation also shared tips on how to sleep better: 

- Stick to a sleep schedule , even on weekends

- Practise a relaxing bedtime ritual

- Exercise daily

- Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light

- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows

- Beware of hidden sleep stealers like alcohol and caffeine

- Turn off electronic devices before you go to bed

jalmsab@sph.com.sg