National Sleep Awareness Week is March 6—13, 2016. Sleep plays an important role in your good health. Getting enough sleep can protect both your mental and physical health and the quality of life and safety. The amount of sleep needed depends on several factors but mostly on your age. Here are some guidelines for different age groups:
- Infants need 16-18 hours of sleep per day
- Toddlers need 11-12 hours
- School age children need at least 10 hours
- Teens need 9-10 hours
- Adults (including the elderly) need 7-8 hours
Lack of sleep can cause:
- Depressed mood
- Attention and memory problems
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- More nighttime falls
- Low energy
- Problems thinking and doing things
- Delayed response time
- Car accidents
- Unable to complete normal tasks after 2 days without sleep
- Hallucinations after 5 days without sleep
Here are a few tips to help improve your sleep:
- Have a regular sleep pattern.
- Use the bed only for sleeping (no TV, computers or phones).
- Wind down and relax before going to bed.
- Make the bedroom comfortable (dark, quiet and good temperature)
- Avoid alcohol tobacco and caffeine before bed.
- Avoid day time naps.
- Don’t lie awake watching the clock.
- Avoid sleeping pills except in exceptional circumstances.
- See your health care provider if trouble sleeping persists.
For more information go to cdc.gov/sleep. Keep up with the latest posts by NEW Health for more health and wellness information.