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Sleep Hygiene

Getting the right amount of good sleep for your body and lifestyle is one of the important components of leading a healthier lifestyle. Good, quality sleep has many benefits; the amount and the quality of sleep impacts the body physically and mentally. According to sleepfoundation.org, some of the benefits of a good nights rest is improved mood, improved heart health, regulated blood sugar, improved mental function, restored immune system, improved stress tolerance, increased athletic performance, and increased ability to maintain a healthy weight. 

What happens if we don’t get enough sleep?
According to The Cleveland Clinic if we don’t get enough sleep, we will experience short-term effects such as lack of alertness, excessive daytime sleepiness, and impaired memory which can affect our quality of life, important relationships and lead to increased risk of accidents. For someone that has chronic or prolonged sleep issues this could lead to long-term and more serious health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack/ stroke, obesity, depression, reduced immune system functioning, lower sex drive and premature wrinkling of skin.  

How much sleep should I get per night?
The Cleveland Clinic suggests the following nightly hours of sleep broken down by age rage: 

  • Adults (65+ years): 7 to 8 hours. 
  • Adults (26 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours. 
  • Young adults (18 to 25 years): 7 to 9 hours. 
  • Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours. 
  • School-age children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours. 
  • Preschool children (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours. 
  • Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours. 
  • Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours. 
  • Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours. 

These are just general suggestions and can vary based on various genetic, behavioral and environmental factors.  

What should I do to improve my sleep?
First, you need to treat sleep as if it’s important and take your sleep hygiene as important as your regular hygiene! According to the Sleep Foundation, the following are ways we can improve our sleep hygiene: 

  • Go to bed and wake up around the same time each day;  
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and relaxing;  
  • Remove electronic devices from the bedroom;  
  • Use your bed only for sleep and sex;  
  • Be active during the day;  
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine;  
  • Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime;  
  • Avoid consuming caffeine in late afternoon or evening;  
  • Avoid consuming alcohol, nicotine and THC before bed and limit your fluid intake before bedtime.   

Brandi Behney MS, LPC

Clinician – Virtual Health

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