When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, there are many messages about physical activity and healthy eating but what about sleep? Did you know getting enough sleep is just as important as getting enough physical activity when it comes to reducing our risk for chronic disease?


How much sleep do we need?

We spend one third of our whole life asleep!

  Age Range Recommended Hours of Sleep
Newborn 0-3 months old 14-17 hours
Infant 4-11 months old 12-15 hours
Toddler 1-2 years old 11-14 hours
Preschool 3-5 years old 10-13 hours
School-age 6-13 years old 9-11 hours
Teen 14-17 years old 8-10 hours
Young Adult 18-25 years old 7-9 hours
Adult 26-64 years old 7-9 hours
Older Adult 65 or more years old 7-8 hours


Why do we need sleep?

Sleep is essential for the body to function properly. It allows the brain and body to rest and recover.

Regular and good quality sleep can:

  • Improve your physical, emotional, and brain health
  • Reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and certain cancers
  • Improve your cognition, memory and job performance
  • Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Help manage stress
  • Have an impact on how active you are during the day


How can we get to sleep and stay asleep?

  • Set up a comfortable sleep environment that is cool, dark, and quiet
  • Maintain a regular bedtime/wake time. Even on weekends!
  • Exercise regularly during the day
  • Get outside for natural light exposure during the day – lower lighting in the evening
  • Keep your body comfortable: not too full or not too hungry, not too hot or not too cold
  • Develop a relaxing bedtime routine that tells your body it’s time to sleep: bath, reading, meditation, yoga, etc.
  • Try disconnecting from screens for 30 minutes or more before going to bed.
  • Try leaving electronic devices out of your bedroom. If not possible, put on silent or do not disturb mode to avoid checking them during the night
  • Avoid caffeine before bed (recommended cut-off time is a minimum of six hours before bedtime)
  • Avoid alcohol and nicotine before bed

Please note these are general recommendations and not medical advice. Please consult your health care provider for further information and guidance if your sleep troubles persist, or if you are experiencing ongoing sleep issues.

For more healthy sleep tips visit


Helpful Resources

Sleep Tips for Teens (PDF)

National Sleep Foundation

Government of Canada - Are Canadian Adults Getting Enough Sleep?


Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines

CDC - Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Canadian Sleep Society

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