For many Americans, what gets in the way is insomnia - the medical condition when you have the opportunity to sleep but can't -- and the prevalence of insomnia is higher among older people and women.
The amount of sleep needed to maintain good health varies from person to person and changes throughout one's life. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult requires seven to eight hours of sleep each night to be healthy.
Recommended Amount of Sleep
|Newborns||16-18 hours a day|
|Preschool-aged children||11-12 hours a day|
|School-aged children||At least 10 hours a day|
|Teens||9-10 hours a day|
|Adults (including the elderly)||7-8 hours a day|
“In recent years, we have come to a better understanding of how the brain regulates sleep, and importantly, also the ways in which sleep can be disturbed,” said Darryle Schoepp, Ph.D., senior vice president, Neuroscience & Ophthalmology, Merck. “The science of sleep is fascinating, but what makes that better understanding more meaningful is the hope that it will lead to new approaches for treating insomnia."