How much sleep do you really need?
Here are the averages for children:
16 hours (total day & night)
13 – 14 hours
10 – 12 hours
8 – 12 years
12 – 18 years
8 – 9.5 hours*
*Some experts believe more sleep is needed during hormonally active growth spurts in adolescence.
Here are the averages for adults:
6 – 10 hours (7 – 8 hours is enough for most adults)
How to make sure you get enough sleep:
Be active: Regular exercise helps your body in multiple ways – including helping you rest!
Be consistent: Just like consistency with exercise, going to bed at the same time “conditions” your body for sleep.
Be comfortable: Set the thermostat at a temperature that feels good to you; make sure your bedding is comfortable & not too heavy; block any light filtering into your bedroom.
De-caffeinate: Stop drinking caffeinated beverages at least 6 hours before bedtime. Nicotine & alcohol don’t help you sleep either.
De-compress: Create a routine that allows you to unwind & prepare for sleep: it can be a hot bath, a cup of herbal tea, five minutes of mental “clearing” of the day’s events or just relaxing in bed before turning out the light.
De-clutter: If you can get the television and the laptop out of the bedroom, do! If not, turn them off and take the time you need to mentally unwind before sleeping.
De-stress: If you can’t sleep, get up & do something relaxing – have a light snack, drink some warm milk or listen to some quiet music for 15 or 20 minutes.