GREENSBORO, N.C. — Getting a good night's sleep can be a challenge! Add in things like work, errands, and kids' schedules and you may wake up already thinking about heading back to bed.
Dr. Pallavi Reddy, a sleep specialist in the Triad and member of the Cone Health Medical and Dental, gave these recommendations by age when it comes to getting the right amount of sleep.
BEST SLEEP FOR BABIES
- 14-to-17 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period including 2-to-3 naps
- Consistency is key, babies recognize habits
- Repeat something like eat, play, sleep throughout the day, and train them to go to sleep
BEST SLEEP FOR SCHOOL-AGED KIDS
- 3-to-5 year-olds need 10 hours of sleep per night with an optional nap
- 5 years old and up need between 9-and-10 hours of sleep
- High-quality sleep is needed to help them learn
BEST SLEEP FOR ADULTS
- Research shows sleeping less than 6 hours and more than 9 hours can be linked to health conditions
- Adults should strive for 7-to-8 hours a night
A big part of getting a good night's sleep is creating a routine. Much like kids, even adults can train their bodies to know it is time to go to sleep.
Wind down 1-to-2 hours before bedtime, avoid caffeine, and limit electronic use about an hour before bed.
Find a relaxing activity to help start the nighttime routine. Listen to soft music, meditate, or read a book -- but don't do it in bed. Find a different place and set the lights down low. You want your body to only associate your bed with sleeping.
Another thing that gets in the way of feeling well-rested is changes to your sleep schedule.
Daylight Saving Time is coming up. Clocks will spring forward and you will miss out on an hour of sleep.
Kids will largely be impacted with changes to mood, appetite or attention.
A way to get ahead of this is take between 2-to-4 days to prepare. Push bed time 15 minutes earlier each day leading up to clocks springing ahead.
If you feel you are having trouble sleeping and it becomes persistant and is impacting your everyday life, talk to your doctor.
Sleep studies can help track the problem and some of those sleep studies can even take place at your home.