The Importance of Sleep

A good night’s sleep is critical for staying healthy and according to the CDC 1 in 3 American adults do not get enough sleep. A good night’s sleep empowers the body to recover and lets you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day. Sleep is an important part of our life; it should consume about one third of your daily schedule.

Unhealthy daytime habits and lifestyle choices can leave you tossing and turning at night and adversely affect your mood, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and weight. Sleep deprivation is not just an adult issue, teens get the least amount of sleep, with 97% getting less than the recommended amount each night. But by experimenting with the following tips and articles, you and your family can enjoy better sleep, boost your health, and improve how you think and feel during the day.

How much sleep do we need?

Sleep requirements by age (provided by the Sleep Foundation):

Age RangeRecommended                Hours of Sleep
School-age6-13 years old9-11 hours
Teen14-17 years old8-10 hours
Young Adult 18-25 years old7-9 hours
Adult  26-64 years old7-9 hours
Older Adult  65 or more years old7-8 hours

How Can We Improve Our Sleep?

Good sleep habits (sometimes referred to as “sleep hygiene”) can help you get a good night’s sleep. Follow these tips to improve your sleep habits:

  • Keep your bedtime and wake up time consistent, even on the weekends. Sleeping late on weekends will not “catch up” on missed sleep.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, but avoid being active too close to bedtime.
  • Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime. The blue light emitted by your phone, tablet, computer, or TV is especially disruptive.

Why is Sleep Important?

Sufficient sleep supports clearer cognition, increased energy, healthier mood and metabolism, improved immunity, as well as optimal health and overall well-being. It keeps your heart strong, balances hormones, and keeps inflammation to a minimum. 

Sleep helps the body redistribute energy resources that are primarily used for brain and muscle work to the immune system. During sleep, the immune cells get out of the circulation, settle in the lymph nodes, and start getting ready for the next day of work. If you lack sleep for a long time, the immune system will produce fewer substances helpful in defending your body. Protect your body and your immune system by getting quality sleep and developing good sleep habits.