Importance of getting good sleep
With more sunshine and the days getting longer, it’s natural to want to stay up a little later and enjoy the beautiful weather. However, keeping a consistent bedtime is important for both yours and your kids’ health. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, reminds us why sleep is important, especially for a child’s health and development.
Why does sleep matter in terms of our health?
Nurse Rose: Getting adequate sleep is critical to good health and well-being for a number of reasons.
- Healthy brain function and emotional well-being. Sleep helps your brain to form permanent memories and can improve your ability to focus and learn.
- Heart health. Lack of sleep is linked to a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.
- Healthy weight. Sleep helps regulate the hormones in your body that make you feel hungry.
- Safety and performance. Sleeping well helps you focus and avoid mistakes or accidents that might occur with lack of sleep.
How much sleep do we need?
Nurse Rose: The amount of sleep you need varies with age. Most adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep per night, while teens need about eight to 10 hours per night. Kids on the other hand need about nine to 13 hours of sleep per night, while infants and toddlers may sleep anywhere from 11 to 15 hours a day depending on their age.
What are some ways to help people sleep better?
Nurse Rose: Here are some tips to help you and your family get enough sleep to stay healthy and conquer the day.
- Keep a schedule. Set a bedtime, and try to wake up and go to sleep around the same time each day.
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Whether it’s reading, meditation or prayer – try to unwind away from your electronic devices.
- Avoid backlit screens and bright lights before bed. Turn off electronic devices 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Keep your room cool and dark. Doctors recommend 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Exercise daily but not too close to when you go to sleep.
- Avoid large meals, alcohol or caffeine before bed. If you must eat before bedtime, eat a light, healthy snack.