Many of us wish that we could get more sleep, but are you sleeping enough? That is, do you get enough sleep each and every night to promote good health? A CDC study found that a third of American adults don’t get enough sleep.
There are lots of things that can get in the way of sleep. Stress, work, worry, or just spreading yourself to thin – all of these things can eat away at the available hours you have for sleep, and they can negatively affect the quality of sleep that you get.
So how much sleep do you need each night, and what can you do to make sure that you’re getting the sleep that you need?
How much sleep do you need?
A lack of sleep, or not getting enough sleep, can have a negative effect on your overall health. The National Sleep Foundation put together recommended sleep ranges based on age. Here’s how much sleep you need each night according to the National Sleep Foundation.
- Newborns need between 14 and 17 hours of sleep over 24 hours
- Infants need between 12 and 15 hour of sleep over 24 hours
- Toddlers need between 11 and 14 hours of sleep over 24 hours
- Preschoolers need between 10 and 13 hours of sleep
- Children ages 6-13 need 9 to 11 hours of sleep each night
- Teenagers ages 14-17 need 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night
- Young Adults ages 18-25 need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night
- Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night
- Seniors over the age of 65 need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night
Keep in mind that the amount of sleep a person needs depends on things such as age, lifestyle, and health. Consider all the factors including health issues, sleep problems, sleep debt, and how you feel after sleeping. Your individual sleep needs may not fall within the general recommendations based on age.
Ways to get more sleep
Improve your sleep environment
Make sure that your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet.
Your mattress and pillows should be comfortable.
Don’t leave the shows or movies running on a screen all night long.
Silence your phone, and keep it away from your bedside.
Reserve your bedroom, especially your bed, for sleep.
Improve your sleep habits
Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Choose a time to go to bed and wake-up time that allows you to get the amount of sleep you need, and stick to those times.
Newborns infants and toddlers need naps throughout the day, but adults should avoid taking long naps that may disrupt sleep schedules.
Unwind – without screens – before bed. Reading, listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking a warm bath before bed are all great ways to relax and prepare for a good night of rest.
Avoid sleeping in on the weekends. You can’t catch up on all the sleep you need, or store sleep hours for the future. Sleeping in may disrupt your sleep cycle. If you need extra sleep, go to bed earlier.
Get better sleep quality
Exercise regularly to help promote better sleep.
Don’t smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol.
Finish eating and drinking well before bedtime.
Limit coffee, energy drinks, and caffeine to the morning hours, and reduce the amount of caffeine that you consume.
Consider talking to a sleep specialist for an evaluation or a sleep study.