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Are You and Your Family Getting Enough Sleep?

child-sleeping-teddy-bear

Summer is over, and everyone is settling into back-to-school and regular work routines.  With the extra stress of COVID-19, and some children not returning to regular school schedules, sleep may be disrupted in your household.  Remember to include adequate sleep in your family’s routine.

 

Not getting enough sleep or adequate quality sleep contributes, in the short-term, to issues with learning and processing information, and it may have a harmful effect on long-term health and well-being. For example, research in adults has shown that lack of sleep or lack of quality sleep may increase the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and other medical conditions.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-third of adults in the United States report that they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep. The recommended amount of sleep needed by a person changes with age. Sleep recommendations for adults are as follows:

 

  • 18-60 years of age: 7 or more hours per night
  • 61-64 years of age: 7-9 hours per night
  • 65 and older: 7-8 hours per night]
 

Research in children has shown that lack of sleep puts them at risk for obesity, diabetes, injury, poor mental health and problems with attention and behavior.  Like adults, the amount of sleep children need varies with age:

 

  • 0-3 months of age: 14-17 hours per 24 hours
  • 4-12 months of age: 12-16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • 1-2 years of age: 11-14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • 3-5 years of age: 10-13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • 6-12 years of age: 9-12 hours per night
  • 13 -18 years of age: 8-10 hours per night 

 

Tips for getting a better night’s rest:

  • Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
  • Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom.
  • Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
  • Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day, at least 5-6 hours before going to bed, can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
 

Most people experience occasional sleep problems due to stress, illness, hectic schedules and other outside influences.  Developing some healthy sleep habits may help improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

 

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/index.html.  Last reviewed 5/4/2017.  Accessed August 25, 2020.
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/infographic/children-sleep.htm. Last reviewed 3/2/2020.  Accessed August 25, 2020.