Sleep is essential for a productive lifestyle and overall health and wellness. Sleep is a result of your sleep-wake cycle, also known as your circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is your internal biological “clock” that tells you when you are tired and when to wake up. Each day your biological “clock” must be reset. Sunshine or bright light in the morning helps reset your clock.

How much sleep do we need?

We spend one third of our whole life asleep!

AgeRecommended hours
Newborn (0 to 3 months) 14 to 17 hours
Infant (4 to 11 months) 12 to 16 hours
Toddler (1 to 2 years) 11 to 14 hours
Pre-school (3 to 4 years) 10 to 13 hours
School age (5 to 13 years) 9 to 11 hours
Teen (14 to 17 years)8 to 10 hours
Young adult (18 to 25 years)7 to 9 hours
Adult (26 to 64 years) 7 to 9 hours
Older adult (65+) 7 to 8 hours

Why do we need sleep?

Sleep cycles

Sleep is a very active process. While we sleep, we cycle through 5 stages. Each cycle lasts about 90 minutes and we cycle 4 to 6 times each night.


Helpful Resources

National Sleep Foundation’s sleep diary

The Canadian Sleep Society

Are Canadian Kids Too Tired to Move?

Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years

Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth

This item was last modified on May 3, 2018