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How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Sleep is such a crucial part of life, and if you, like most families in 2018, are overworked and over scheduled; odds are you aren’t getting enough pillow time. The results of living a busy daily life without enough sleep can be harsh not only on the physical side, but mentally as well.

Most people aren’t actually getting anywhere near the recommended amount of adequate rest each night, and sadly, neither are most of our children, which is problematic. Trying to get through the day at school without enough sleep is not what you want for any little one, so trying to keep a routine bedtime is preferred. Check out this scale provided by the Sleep Foundation, and see if you/your children are hitting that target time frame:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
  • School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)

Some great tips to getting your sleep routine in tip top shape are:

  1. Track your sleep each night with a journal, if you start to notice any patterns on nights when you aren’t getting adequate rest, the journal will quickly help you identify those issues.
  2. Make your bedroom a sleeping sanctuary that’s comfortable and relaxing.
  3. Skip the caffeinated drinks too close to bedtime, as this will ruin your ability to sleep well.
  4. Don’t make it a habit to exercise near bedtime, it doesn’t allow your mind to settle down and rest.

You can learn a lot about yourself and overall health just from tracking your sleep. For instance, when you don’t rest well enough the night before, studies have shown that you end up eating more the following day to provide your body with the additional fuel it needs to get through the day. Skip the extra calories, and take care of yourself by getting plenty of rest!

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