Sleep Education

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 

Find a Center
Use the following fields to locate sleep centers in your area.

Search radius:

7 hours is the lower limit for how much sleep a healthy adult should get.

A third of the population doesn't get enough sleep.

There's no limit on how much sleep per night you should get. 

People who are recovering from sleep debt or battling sleep illnesses, and younger adults probably need closer to 9 hours a night.

Why you only need 7 hours of sleep

Filed in
  • Sleep Need

Taylor Kasper  |  Jun 03, 2015
Email   Print

Having trouble getting that ideal 8 hours of sleep? So is everyone else. But there’s some good news — you may only need 7 hours of it.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society (SRS) have issued a new recommendation, saying seven is the magic sleep number for most healthy adults.

In an article with the Seattle Times, incoming AASM president Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson says 7 hours is the lower limit for how much sleep a healthy adult should get per night.

A 15-member panel spent a year reviewing research materials that led the AASM and SRS to this conclusion.

“More than a third of the population is not getting enough sleep, so the focus needs to be on achieving the recommended minimum hours of nightly sleep,” Watson said in a press release from the AASM.

The study didn’t place a limit on the amount of sleep you should get. People who are recovering from sleep debt or battling sleep illnesses, and younger adults probably need closer to 9 hours a night.

Part of the problem with how we approach sleep, according to Watson, is our busy lifestyles. The cycle never ends. Work gets us up early in the morning, and on occasion, keeps us up late at night. When it’s not work, it’s family or projects or children. The regular stressors of life are always going to be there.

But allotting time in your schedule for at least 7 hours of sleep can keep you more alert during the day. That way you will have the energy to enjoy all the things that are keeping you busy.

Quit fighting your snooze button. Make time for at least 7 hours.


  1. 1 Jarmquavius-Phillibottom 15 Dec
    Although mother recommends the usual three hours of sleep, that have been a family tradition for centuries, I feel as if another hour here or there may not hurt sometimes. It's a good thing I'm 34 now, only a matter of time till mother recognises me as a fully grown adult, Hoo-Rah!
  2. 2 Cenaiya 10 Nov
    I’m 15-16 and it’s like either I get 4-5 hours in one night and can stay awake until morning again or I get 6-7 hours and I’m still tired throughout the day. But even if I get one hour I’m still tired. How do I beat tired because I don’t think it depends on how much I sleep?
  3. 3 Ethan Orsano 10 Oct
    I am 12 years old and I got 7 hours of sleep today. Is that normal?
  4. 4 Avril Lavish 09 Jul
    i wake up naturally after 4 hours of sleep, it that normal?
  5. 5 Yammy 09 Jul
    i am aged 13-14 and i get 7-9 hours of sleep, it that good?
  6. 6 Rye 30 Jun
    Robert W - I doubt you’ll see this, but yeah earplugs aren’t enough. Get used to sleeping with white noise, listened to with sound reducing headphones. I can block out 4 screaming kids so you can handle a brother. 
    But yeah I’m here cause I slept 7.5 last night and sorry but it isn’t enough. I wish I could get by on less but I need 8.5-9 
  7. 7 hermione 26 May
    um i'm in my late teen years and getting around 7-8 hours of sleep which is actually okay for me
  8. 8 Janes 21 Apr
    I tend to rest for 12-16 hours and then remain awake for 18-35 hors. 
  9. 9 Gwen H. 19 Jun
    I'm 19, and I get around 7 hours a night. While it seems to be enough to get me through the day, I'm still usually tired for a good hour after I wake up.
  10. 10 Samantha K 30 Mar
    I have a troublesome neighbor who has messed with me for a couple of years.  It has caused duress and waking up at night worrying.  I wish she would move.  I get anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep when I can go back to sleep.  Sadly, moving is not an option.  I am 61 and I take care of my 31 year old son who is autistic.  He is s good person and he doesn't bother anyone, this neighbor is just mean.
  11. 11 Lisa 09 Mar
    My husband seems to need 10 to 12 hours. He would sleep his life away if I let him. For him to sleep and wake naturally without an alarm it would be more like 16 hours (He eventually would need the powder room). I, on the other hand, can get by with far less and wake after 6 hours naturally.
  12. 12 Arunkumar U 29 Nov
    I am Arunkumar 28, In Recent days, I pushed to sleep only 7 hours per day due to my daily running commitments. But i feel sleepy during my working hours. Is this enough time for me, Is this cause any health related issue to me. Kindly advice us to out my fear
  13. 13 DAVIE 07 Oct
    "Dr. Watson says 7 hours is the lower limit for how much sleep a healthy adult should get per night"

    That doesn't mean you 'only need 7 hours of sleep' as the headline title suggests - it's a lower limit. 8 or 9 hours sleep is still recommended. 
  14. 14 Robert W 26 Oct
    `I can't sleep because my brother is always noisy and ear plugs do not help so what medicine can I take that will make me fall asleep faster.
  15. 15 Akmal 27 Aug
    I always wake up in the mddile of the night if I've been drinking the night before.Alcohol metabolizes into sugar, and a sugar rush in the mddile of the night probably isn't so good for sleep.