Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

April, 2014

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Sleep is important for people of all ages to stay in good health. (See below to learn how much sleep your body needs.)

How you feel and perform during the day is related to how much sleep you get the night before. If sleepiness interferes with your daily activities, more sleep each night will improve the quality of your waking hours. Unfortunately, recent statistics show up to 40% of adult Americans experience a sleeping problem one or more nights a week on a regular basis.

Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions—such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression—which threaten our nation’s health. Not getting enough sleep is associated with the onset of these diseases and also may complicate their management and outcome.

Sufficient sleep is increasingly being recognized as an essential aspect of chronic disease prevention and health promotion. How much sleep is enough? Sleep needs vary from person to person and change as people age. Consider these sleep guidelines for different age groups.

Newborns

* 16-18 hours

Preschool-aged Children

* 11-12 hours

School-aged Children

* At least 10 hours

Teens

* 9-10 hours

Adults (including older adults)

* 7-8 hours

*Data from the National Institutes of Health.

Simple Steps to Improve Falling and Staying Asleep

* Go to bed at the same time each night, and rise at the same time each morning.

* Sleep in a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot nor too cold.

* Make your bed comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music.

* Remove all TVs, computers, and other “gadgets” from the bedroom.

* Avoid large meals before bedtime.

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