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A Good Night's Sleep

A Good Night's Sleep

One third of U.S. adults report they get less than the recommended amount of sleep. People will often cut back on their sleep for work, family demands, or to spend time with friends. Many people fall into bed physically exhausted only to have their minds race from one thought to another.

Listed below is the recommended amount of sleep per age group:

Infants (4-12 months)             12-16 hours/day

Toddlers (1-2 years)                11-14 hours/day

Pre-School (3-5 years)            10-13 hours/day

School age (6-12 years)           9-12 hours/day

Teen (13-18)                            8-10 hours/day

Adults                                      7 or more hours/night

Sleep Hygiene

While getting enough sleep is important, good sleep quality is also essential. Sleep hygiene is a variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness. Obtaining healthy sleep is important for both physical and mental health. It can improve productivity and overall quality of life.

Everyone, from children to older adults, can benefit from practicing good sleep habits. If you're taking too long to fall asleep, you should consider evaluating your sleep routine and revising your bedtime habits. Just a few simple changes can make the difference between a good night’s sleep and night spent tossing and turning.

The goal of sleep hygiene is to spend the appropriate amount of time asleep in bed. Good sleep hygiene practices include:

·         Limiting daytime naps to no more than 30 minutes. While a short nap can help to improve mood, alertness, and performance, they can also make it more difficult to fall asleep at night

·         Avoiding stimulants, such as caffeine and nicotine, close to bedtime

·         While alcohol is well-known to help you fall asleep faster, too much close to bedtime can disrupt sleep in the second half of the night, as the body begins to process the alcohol

·         Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night. For the best night’s sleep, avoid strenuous workouts close to bedtime

·         Steering clear of food that can be disruptive right before sleep, such as fatty or fried meals, spicy dishes, and carbonated drinks. Limit fluids before bedtime to avoid having to get up to use the bathroom

·         Exposure to sunlight during the day and darkness at night helps to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle

·         Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends

·         Establishing a regular and relaxing bedtime routine. This could include taking a warm shower or bath, reading a book (not work related), or light stretches. When possible, try to avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities before attempting to sleep

·         Making sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature

·         Removing electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom

·         Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, "white noise" machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices that can make the bedroom more relaxing

·         Using your bed only for sleep and lovemaking

·         If you find your mind racing or worrying about not being able to sleep during the middle of the night, get out of bed and sit in a chair in the dark. Do your mind racing in the chair until you are sleepy and then return to bed. (And no TV or internet during these periods)

 

 

 

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