Pathways to Wellness

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Sweet dreams

There's some debate about how many hours of sleep we need, but there’s no debate about the need to sleep. The recommended 7-8 hours per night for adults is probably on the low side. When we don’t have a reason to get up, most people will sleep 9 hours.

Many of us are getting by with less than 7 hours per night. We are running up a “sleep debt” – chronic, low level sleep deprivation – that threatens our physical and mental health. Catching up on our sleep on the weekends helps, but it is no substitute for getting good sleep each and every night. Good sleep is as essential to well-being as healthy eating, physical activity and good friends.

How much sleep do we need every day?
It depends.


16-18 hours


10-12 hours

School aged students
and adolescents

at least 9 hours

Most adults

at least 7-8 hours

Learn more