By Casey Lewis
Unless you're one of those rare real-life superheroes who manages to get eight solid hours of shut-eye every single night (how do you do it?!), science has told you for years that you're probably not sleeping enough. Your doctor has reiterated it, your teachers nagged you about it, your mom still mentions it practically every time she calls.
Great news! You're allowed to stop feeling guilty now, because according to the National Sleep Foundation—people who know what they're talking about—you may actually need less sleep than you and everyone else in your life thinks. Twenty-five years after releasing their much-cited sleep guidelines, the nonprofit consulted a handful of scientists and experts to update the official recommendations, and they've just released their findings.
Pretty much everyone, from infants to octogenarians, needs less sleep than previously suggested. That's not to say they shouldn't crash for 12 hours, but their overall wellbeing won't be affected by spending less time under the covers.
Since you're neither an infant nor an octogenarian, you're probably wondering how many Zs you need to catch. The National Sleep Foundation's new guidelines recommend that young adults (18-24 years) and adults (26-64 years) get between seven and nine hours. However, a mere six hours "may be appropriate," which essentially means that while it's not ideal to snooze for only half a dozen hours each night, it's also not going to kill you.
Behold, the NSF's handy chart:
You should also check out:
Anthropologie's 30% Off Black Friday Sale Is Something You Don't Want to Miss
From swoon-worthy cardigans to tablescape must-haves.
By Michelle Rostamian •
Astrology Gifts for Your Horoscope-Obsessed Friends
"Sorry your gift is late...Mercury was in retrograde."
By Rachel Epstein •
The 30 Best Face Oils For Every Single Skin Type
Yes, even you and your acne-prone skin can use face oil.
By Chloe Metzger •
Senator Klobuchar: "Early Detection Saves Lives. It Saved Mine"
Senator and breast cancer survivor Amy Klobuchar is encouraging women not to put off preventative care any longer.
By Senator Amy Klobuchar •
How Being a Plus-Size Nude Model Made Me Finally Love My Body
I'm plus size, but after I decided to pose nude for photos, I suddenly felt more body positive.
By Kelly Burch •
I'm an Egg Donor. Why Was It So Difficult for Me to Tell People That?
Much like abortion, surrogacy, and IVF, becoming an egg donor was a reproductive choice that felt unfit for society’s standards of womanhood.
By Lauryn Chamberlain •
The 20 Best Probiotics to Keep Your Gut in Check
Gut health = wealth.
By Julia Marzovilla •
Simone Biles Is Out of the Team Final at the Tokyo Olympics
She withdrew from the event due to a medical issue, according to USA Gymnastics.
By Rachel Epstein •
The Truth About Thigh Gaps
We're going to need you to stop right there.
By Kenny Thapoung •
3 Women On What It’s Like Living With An “Invisible” Condition
Despite having no outward signs, they can be brutal on the body and the mind. Here’s how each woman deals with having illnesses others often don’t understand.
By Emily Shiffer •
The High Price of Living With Chronic Pain
Three women open up about how their conditions impact their bodies—and their wallets.
By Alice Oglethorpe •