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Getting Enough Sleep Is More Important Than you Realize

Sleep

Do you get enough sleep? Many people do not, for one reason or another. They work long hours with commutes, they have a newborn baby keeping them up at night, they stay up late, fail to acknowledge the need for more sleep, etc. And sometimes, even when you get to bed early and are tired, you still can’t get enough hours of downtime.

A person needs rest, for both the mind and body.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the amount of sleep you get each day is important, but other aspects of your sleep also contribute to your health and well-being. Good sleep quality, it says, is also essential. Signs of poor sleep quality include not feeling rested even after getting enough sleep, repeatedly waking up during the night, and experiencing symptoms of sleep disorders (such as snoring or gasping for air). Improving sleep quality may be helped by better sleep habits or being diagnosed and treated for any sleep disorder you may have.

The following are the total hours of sleep a person needs according to their age as listed by the CDC:
Newborn 0–3 months 14–17 hours
Infant 4–12 months 12–16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
Toddler 1–2 years 11–14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
Preschool 3–5 years 10–13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
School Age 6–12 years 9–12 hours per 24 hours
Teen 13–18 years 8–10 hours per 24 hours
Adult 18–60 years 7 or more hours per night
61–64 years 7–9 hours
65 years and older 7–8 hours

“At every major age period in our lives, our sleep is going to shift a little bit,” said Alicia Roth, a clinical health psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Sleep Disorders Center told the New York Times. “That’s something I work with patients a lot on — maybe their internal clock has changed. We have to adjust our expectations.”

But knowing how many hours a sleep per day you need and being sure to get to bed at a reasonable hour do not ensure a person will get the sleep they need. This is where insomnia comes into the picture.

Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. It can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, making it difficult to function during the day.

There are many causes of insomnia, including stress, anxiety, depression, medical conditions, and medications. In some cases, insomnia may be a symptom of another sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea.

There are a number of things that can be done to treat insomnia, including, Good sleep hygiene: This includes establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and making sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool; Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I): This type of therapy helps people change their thoughts and behaviors about sleep, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep; Medications: There are a number of prescription and over-the-counter medications that can help with insomnia. However, these should only be used short-term, as they can have side effects.

If you are experiencing insomnia, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. They can also help you develop a treatment plan that is right for you.

Here are some additional tips for managing insomnia:

Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. These substances can interfere with sleep.

Get regular exercise, but not too close to bedtime. Exercise can help you sleep better, but it should be done at least a few hours before bed.
Create a relaxing bedtime routine. This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to calming music.

Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. These conditions are ideal for sleep.

Get out of bed if you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes. This will help you avoid associating your bed with frustration and wakefulness.

See a doctor if you have chronic insomnia. There are effective treatments available that can help you get a good night’s sleep.

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