A Healthier Night’s Sleep
School supplies line the shelves, signifying the start of a new school year, and back to school means back to routine. An important routine to help create a successful school year begins with a restful night’s sleep. Of course, a good night’s sleep is important even for those of us who have graduated from school!!
Follow these tips, and you will be well on your way to dream land.
POWER HOUR: Are you getting enough sleep? According to the National Sleep Foundation, we spend up to one-third of our lives asleep, so we might as well make it a healthier night’s sleep.
- Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours each day
- Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
- School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
- Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
- Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours (new age category)
- Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours http://fullyinformedlife.com/a-healthier-nights-sleep/
BEDTIME ALARM: Do you have a hard time going to bed at a consistent time? Do you constantly wish you had gone to bed earlier each night? Why not set an alarm as a bedtime reminder?
NIX THE ELECTRONICS: Exposure to electronics should end at least 30 minutes before scheduled bedtime. Staring at the light from an iPad or television alters the brain’s internal clock.
DRINK WISELY: Drinking any type of liquid too close to bedtime can interrupt sleep. Liquid consumption should stop at least 90 minutes prior to bedtime, the amount of time your body takes to process any liquid. Switch the night “cap” with an herbal “sleepy time” tea blend instead.
EAT YOUR WAY TO SLEEP: Happy bellies lead to a healthier night’s sleep. Offering a child a “sleep inducing” snack such as sliced apple and peanut butter, cheese stick, cottage cheese, banana or a few grapes will provide melatonin or tryptophan to the body, both natural sleep-aids.
KEEP IT COOL: Proper room temperature matters. According to many sleep doctors, a room should be between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.
EXERCISE TIME: Get moving. The National Sleep Foundation has found that by adding even a few minutes of movement each day helps to achieve a more restful night sleep.
PILLOW FIGHT: Having the wrong kind of pillow can leave you fighting for dream land all night long? According to a local chiropractor, choose a pillow that is comfortable for you. Don’t get trapped into purchasing an expensive pillow, thinking it will instantly make a difference. Dust-mite proof pillow and mattress covers are your first line of defense against dust allergies. Keep in mind that pillows should be replaced or washed every 12 – 18 months, WebMD reported.
THE CAVE: The darker the better…black out shades and a sleeping mask signals the biological clock that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep.
SIZE AND COMFORT MATTER: Tossing and turning all night long? Maybe it’s time to switch mattresses? Perhaps it’s too small or has lost its cushioning. According to Consumer reports, expect to swap your mattress every five to ten years.
Our children are off to great places this school year! Remember, sleep leads to dreams and a brighter future for all of us.
*Article originally appeared in the North Caldwell Magazine, Andrea’s Anecdotes Column