Are You Getting Good Sleep?
by Alexa Geist
Did you know there are certain guidelines for sleep? Depending on different factors like your age and preexisting conditions, there are recommendations for the amount of sleep you should achieve each night.
In the table below, the CDC provides the following recommendations for hours of sleep per day according to age group. It’s important to note that this is the recommended amount of sleep per DAY, not necessarily night. This means that hour-long nap you took at noon can be included in your total hours! As you see, during the developmental years more sleep is required as different parts of the brain and body are still forming. Once we reach adulthood, the amount of sleep that is required starts to taper off.
Even though you may be getting the recommended number of hours a night, it is also important to ensure this is good quality sleep. Poor quality sleep does not provide benefits in the long run, and can be indicated by not feeling rested after receiving enough sleep, waking repeatedly during the night, or experiencing sleep disorders. By following the tips for better sleep habits below, you may be able to improve your current quality of sleep to ensure you are getting the maximum benefits from your resting time.
Be consistent! This means going to sleep and waking up around the same time each day of the week.
Ensure your bedroom is quiet, dark and a cool, comfortable temperature for sleeping.
Refrain from electronic devices in the bedroom such as TV’s, computers, or your phone. For at least 30 minutes before bedtime, reduce your screen time to prepare.
Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
Exercise during the day to help make sleeping easier at night.
Now that you have some ideas about quality sleep, lets talk about some things that may be affecting your sleep negatively. There are a few major sleep disorders that we’ll mention but remember that it’s always important to discuss these with your doctor if you think you’re experiencing symptoms.
Insomnia: the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, which may lead to excessive daytime sleepiness
Narcolepsy: excessive daytime sleepiness with possible irresistible sleepiness combined with sudden muscle weakness, sometimes thought of as “sleep attacks”
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): often associated with aches and pains in the legs, characterized by an unpleasant “creeping” sensation that is relieved by moving your legs, such as walking or kicking
Sleep Apnea: characterized by periodic gasping, snoring, or snorting that causes sleep interruption, which may lead to daytime sleepiness as sleep is not restorative
Knowing these facts can help you maximize the benefits of sleep in your own life. If you feel that you are having any issues getting the quality sleep you need, be sure to discuss it with your physician soon!
If you made it this far, here’s a little pun for your day:
What happens when an egg works all day? He becomes egg-hausted!
this blog post was guest-written by Alexa Geist, a Clemson University 2022 Graduate with a BS in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematical Sciences and the new Medical Office Assistant at Cardona Direct Primary Care