It is estimated that 50-70 million Americans suffer from sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation may be a result of too little sleep or poor-quality sleep. Approximately 60% of adults report difficulty falling or staying asleep at least 1 or 2 nights a week and 40% of adults report sleepiness interferes with their daily life at least 2 times per month. Did you know that lack of sleep can have a serious effect on your health? Sleep loss and sleep disorders may increase the risk of hypertension, diabetes, cancer, obesity, depression, heart attack and stroke. Lack of sleep has often been viewed as an early sign of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis…), but recent research shows that is a contributing factor in the development and progression of these diseases as well.
Some tips to getting a good night sleep include: sleep and wake the same time each day, turn off screens (TV, computers, phones) 1-2 hours before bed, exercise regularly, sleep in a cool room (65 degrees F is considered optimal), avoid caffeine, smoking, alcohol and heavy meals before bedtime, and minimize noise and light where you sleep. If you need more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, feel tired when you wake up or drowsy during the day, or rely on caffeinated beverages to function, you may benefit from improving your sleep routine. Here are some recommendations for sleep times based on age: Older Adults (65+): 7-8 hours, Adults (26-64) 7-9 hours, Young Adults (18-25) 7-9 hours, Teenagers (14-17) 8-10 hours, School-age Children (6-13) 9-11 hours, Preschool Children (3-5) 10-13 hours, Toddlers (1-2) 11-14 hours, Infants (4-11 months) 12-15 hours, Newborns (0-3 months) 14-17 hours.