Why Getting Enough Sleep Is Important
By Premier Medicine and Wellness
August 21, 2020
Tags: Sleep Routine
Are you getting enough sleep? Unfortunately, most Americans aren’t. According to the CDC, as many as one out of three American adults aren’t getting enough sleep quite frequently. While you may think of sleep as a time to power down your body and mind, the opposite is true. Sleep is a time to help the body and mind restore, rebuild, and strengthen. It helps keep your immune system fully functioning. It also helps your mind stay alert throughout the day. Quality sleep is vital.
How Much Sleep is Enough?
The amount of sleep you need each night will depend on your age. Most school-age children will need anywhere from 9 to 11 hours of sleep, while infants and toddlers will require between 11-14 hours. Teens need around 8 to 10 hours and adults require at least 7-9 hours each night.
Unfortunately, you can’t just make up the hours of sleep you missed by trying to get more sleep later (sadly it just doesn’t work that way). Of course, the only way to ensure quality sleep night after night is to get into a regular and consistent routine when it comes to sleep.
What Should My Sleep Routine Consist of?
Want to hack your bedtime routine to make you a sleep-savvy ninja? We thought so! Here are some things that you should (and shouldn’t) do if you want to get some quality shuteye:
- Keep the same bedtime and wake-up time each day (yes, even weekends!)
- Make sure that your bed is comfortable (is it time to change your mattress?)
- Keep the room cool (between 60-67 degrees F is optimal)
- Choose a soothing bedtime activity such as a warm bath
- Power down all electronics at least one hour before bed
- Dim lights and keep the rooms darker in the evening (this will trigger melatonin production)
- Try to avoid eating anything between 2-3 hours before bedtime (a light snack should be fine, but a large dinner can keep you up)
- Do not watch TV or do work while in bed (your bed should only be used for sleep and sex)
- Get regular exercise (but avoid exercising about one hour before bed)
What Happens if I Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
So, what are the consequences of not getting enough sleep? Well, we hope you never find out; however, consistently poor sleep can lead to severe sleep deprivation and also increase your risk for diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. It also can shorten your lifespan.
If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep you must talk this over with your general physician who may be able to provide you with helpful sleep strategies or determine whether you may require a sleep study.