Best Times to Sleep for Adults & Children


We spend a third of our life to sleep. The time spent on sleeping is by no means wasteful as many people might think. When we sleep, our brain and organs actively re-build the energy for our body to function the next day. Therefore, it’s essential to follow a reasonable sleeping schedule – for both adults & children.

1. The importance of sleep

According to Dr. Hanh Hoang (Unit of Sleep Disorders, Medical University Hospital HCMC), benefits of good sleep on health are indispensable.

During our sleep, our organs take turns thoroughly to rebuild dying cells from daylight activities and outlet detrimental substances out from our body.

Sleep also do wonders for the mind, as it helps clearing out all “mind junks” – memories & thoughts labelled by our brain as “not significant”, so that we can feel refreshed and have a clear mind the next morning.

It is also during sleep that our mind rests, and outlet stress and exhaustion to function effectively the next day.

Read more: How Can Sleeping Well Do Wonders for You?

Various functions take place to heal our mind and body during the stage of sleeps:

  • Consolidation of memories
  • Learning and emotions enhancement process
  • Physical energy recovery
  • Balancing out of blood sugar levels
  • Re-energizing of immune system
  • Detoxification of the brain

Lack of sleep will immediately results in these negative effects:

  • Decrease of memorizing capacity
  • Unstable moods
  • Weakened immune system
  • Difficulty in focusing
  • High risks of chronic diseases (obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases)
  • Premature aging

It is undoubted that without sleep, these functions cannot take place and “re-build” our health when we are asleep. To adults, quality of sleep decides our productivity. To children, it directly affects the process of learning about the world around them and their growth of physical & mental capacity.

Beautiful young woman in white bed with glass of milk, concept of breakfast in bed.

2. Best sleep time by ages

2.1 Amount of sleep by ages

Here is the suggested amount of sleep by age – CDC (US). The amount of sleep decreases in hours when we get older. (1)

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2.2 Measuring sleep

In reality, sleeping time do not directly decide of quality but it is the stages of sleep. (2)

5 stages of human sleep:

  1. Start of sleep
  2. Light sleep
  3. Deep sleep
  4. Ultra-deep sleep
  5. REM

During 1, 2, and REM comprise of light sleep, while 3 and 4 make up deep sleep.

In stage 1 & 2: our body relaxes and gets into light sleep. Brain signals decrease gradually but still are active.

In stage 3 & 4: our body relaxes fully and gets into deep sleep – during which the body healing takes place.

In stage 5: this stage happens 90 minutes after we fall into sleep and recurs every 90 minutes. During this stage, while our body and mind become active again (for the healing activities), we still remain asleep.

The first four stages of sleep will comprise your first 90 minutes of your sleep – then comes the 5th stage of REM. Once the first REM concludes, the loop of first four stages re-occur until you wake up.

REM sleep is also when we are most likely to dream.

2.3 Definition of a good sleep

The question of whether “how many hours make up a good sleep?” may not be relevant, as our sleep quality depends on the how much time we spend on the stage of deep sleep.

Therefore, even when your sleep lasts for 05 hours but is uninterrupted and thus, maximizing the time in deep sleep, it can still be considered “quality” sleep.

In essence, it is how much time you spend deep sleep that contribute to your sleeping quality. It should be notified that the amount of deep sleep varies relatively for each of us.

Healthy adults’ sleep contain of 13-23% of deep sleep. The amount tends to lower year by year as we get older.

3. Tips for good sleep

Here are tips for good sleep for young adults & children – people of 2 groups of age that good sleep matters substantially.

3.1 For adults

  • Commit to a fixed sleeping & getting-up schedule: flexibly manage your work after daylight to avoid having to stay up late
  • Reduce stress by not thinking about work: a relaxed body surely helps us to be easy falling asleep
  • Maintain a balanced, nutritious diet
  • Work out & exercise daily: have a balanced, healthy body & mind to avoid negative thoughts that hindrance falling asleep

3.2 For children

  • Reduce workload for studying: more time for fun & relaxation helps children to be comfortable and easy falling asleep. A clear mind from good sleep surely makes children learn better.
  • Maintain exercising schedule: exercising not only helps body rest & sleep better at night but also boost a child’s body development
  • Help children commit to a fixed sleep schedule: follow the suggested sleeping schedule daily for a better sleeping habit

More tips for good sleep for everyone of all ages in: How Can Sleeping Well Do Wonders for You?


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