Different Age Groups Have Different Sleep Stages.

You might be surprised that your grandpa needs less sleep time than you do. Actually, not everyone has the same sleep time and the same sleep quality. Age could be a key factor influencing human sleep.

Babies & Toddlers (2 months-3 years old) Demand the Most Sleep than Any Other Age Groups Do

For the most part infants and toddlers are deep sleepers. If sleep issues exist, they usually revolve around schedules and sleep disruptions – rather than the actual quality of sleep received. Newborns require the most sleep of any life stage – up to 18 hours per day. At four months, an infant needs around 14 to 15 hours. This amount goes down to about 12 hours for toddlers and young children (one to three years).

In addition, babies and toddle…
The most important step is to establish a routine. Before putting your baby down for a nap during the day, make sure he or she has some quiet time to relax. Babies will resist sleeping if they are over stimulated or over tired.
Start bedtime with a story or lullaby followed by hugs and cuddles. Lower the lights, but don’t make it completely dark. In time, the baby will come to associate the lowered lights with sleep time. Try not to vary the routine. Have the same people involved and do things in the same order every night. That way, the baby understands that it’s time to sleep.

Children (3-12 years old) Enjoy the Deepest Sleep of All

Pre-schoolers require about 11 to 13 hours of sleep, school-age children need 10 to 11 hours of sleep in order to feel and perform their best. In this age group, children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of too much caffeine in their systems, especially before bedtime. A consistent, comfortable bedtime routine is a necessity. It should include quiet, relaxing time before going to bed. Turn off the TV and computer one to two hours before bedtime. Keep the TV and computer out of the bedroom, and make sure the room is cool and dark. After a move to a new home or going back to school, children may need extra attention and comfort at bedtime.

Adolescents (12-18 years old) Need 8.5 to 9.5 Hours Sleep a Night, But Seldom Get That

By age 16, the average adolescent gets less than 7.5 hours a night – at least an hour less than he or she needs.
Puberty radically changes their biological clocks. The body’s internal time clock changes during the teen years, making teens want to go to sleep later at night and wake up later in the morning. Teens are frequently night owls. And problems arise when their natural body clocks are forced to conform to early morning school or work schedules.
Adolescents sleep longer on the weekends than during the week. While a 13-year-old may get 30-45 minutes more shut-eye during the weekend, an 18-year-old may get an extra two hours of sleep time- usually in the form of daytime naps.

Researchers have found that sleep-deprived adolescents tend to experience:
Poor test performances and lower grades.
Use of stimulants, including caffeine and nicotine.
Crankiness and depression (especially in the morning).
Daytime sleepiness and lethargy (lack of motivation).
With all the biological and lifestyle changes coming at them,it’s no wonder many consider adolescence to be “the difficult years”.

Adults (18-24 years old) Say They Suffer the Most from “Sleeplessness”

While they share many of the same sleep needs and reactions as adolescents, young adults physically don’t need quite as much sleep. Young adults admit they don’t get enough sleep. 78% feel they need between seven and 10 hours sleep of night to feel rested, yet 67% say they get less than seven hours of sleep each night. When they don’t get enough sleep, nearly one out of every two young adults admitted they get “sleepy” and “are not as sharp the next day” (as opposed to only 36% of those age 25-45.) Young adults, admit their sleep is affected by their “busy schedules” over the holidays (48%) – to a greater degree than any other age group.

Adults (25-45 years old) Feel the Least Rested of Any Age Group, Yet Get less than 7 Hours Sleep a Night

Well over half (57%) of the adults in this age group admit they don’t get enough sleep to feel rested the next day. And no wonder: 73% get less than seven hours a night. They attribute their lack of quality sleep to the daily stresses of work, school, family, and money. Only 12 percent said they’re able to sleep through the night and eight out of ten (86%) reported they wake up three or more times every night. Adults are both “morning people” and “night owls”. 31% of adults 25-35 said they felt most energized in the morning while 32% prefer the evening. Compare that to 36 to 45 year olds– 50% of whom felt more energized in the morning.

Adults (46-65 years old) Suffer the Highest Level of Actual Sleep Deprivation

Well over half (57%) of the adults in this age group admit they don’t get enough sleep to feel rested the next day. And no wonder: 73% get less than seven hours a night. They attribute their lack of quality sleep to the daily stresses of work, school, family, and money. Only 12 percent said they’re able to sleep through the night and eight out of ten (86%) reported they wake up three or more times every night. Adults are both “morning people” and “night owls”. 31% of adults 25-35 said they felt most energized in the morning while 32% prefer the evening. Compare that to 36 to 45 year olds– 50% of whom felt more energized in the morning.

Seniors (66 & over) Wide Awake in Their Golden Years, Get the Least “Deep Sleep”

Seniors get very little deep sleep. Sixty percent of seniors say the quality of their sleep has gotten progressively worse as they’ve aged. Seniors wake up more frequently than people in other age groups. Only 8% said they can stay asleep all night, compared to 31% of young adults 18 to 24. Seniors (especially men) tend to spend more time in the transitional period when people are first falling asleep. Sleep experts recommend getting at least two hours of bright light exposure every day in order to stabilize the changing Circadian rhythms of seniors. On average, most seniors get only 45 minutes a day of exposure to bright light.

For Women, Pregnancy, the Challenge of Sleeping for Two

Most expectant mothers find getting a good night sleep becomes progressively more difficult, especially as their pregnancy advances. Here are some suggestions for helping you get through the night:
Cut down on caffeinated drinks.
Avoid heavy meals and drinking lots of fluids before bedtime.
Get into a routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
Avoid vigorous exercise right before you go to bed.
Take a yoga class or practice relaxation techniques to help you unwind after a busy day. (As with all the above, consult your doctor first for suggestions.)
When you do miss out on sleep, if possible, try to make up for it with short naps during the day. It won’t be long before your new baby starts setting the ground rules for sleep in your house, so you may as well get used to “sleeping in spurts” now!

For Women, Menopause, Typically a Tough Time for Sleep

Menopausal sleep problems include hot flashes, mood disorders, insomnia, and breathing problems.
Hot flashes that occur during sleep have the ability to affect the quality of sleep by bringing women from a deeper, more relaxed sleep to a lighter, less restful and restorative sleep.
Changing your sleeping habits, reducing stress, and improving your diet can improve many of these problems. During this time period, it’s also more important than ever to exercise regularly.