our Health Index for More Subjects, Conditions and
Sleep - why you
Most adult people seem to need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. This is an average, and it is also subjective. You probably know how much sleep you need in an average night to feel your best.
way to check on whether you are getting enough sleep is to pay attention
to how long it takes you to get to sleep. When you average 10-15
minutes before falling asleep, you're getting enough sleep. If you
fall asleep when you head hits the pillow, you need more sleep. (If
it takes you longer to get to sleep, then that means something needs to be
handled nutritionally. There are different reasons for this
phenomena. See Sleeplessness - The inability to get
The amount of sleep you need decreases with age. A newborn baby might sleep 20 hours a day. By age 4 the average is 12 hours a day. By age 10 the average falls to 10 hours a day. Senior citizens can often get by with 6 or 7 hours a day.
Two other things are known to happen during sleep. Growth hormone in children is secreted during sleep, and chemicals important to the immune system are secreted during sleep. You can become more prone to disease if you don't get enough sleep, and a child's growth can be stunted by sleep deprivation.
Sleep gives the body a chance to repair muscles and other tissues, replace aging or dead cells, etc.
Missing out on sleep not only affects work performance, but also can wreak
havoc with our health. In addition to raising stress hormones, sleep
deprivation could foster diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and memory
loss, and it could cause you to age prematurely. Other ill effects
of sleep deprivation include impaired motor skills, difficulty thinking,
concentrating, and making decisions, as well as irritability and other
We saw earlier how exercise is important. Well, unless sleep is adequate, you don't feel like exercising.
1. Put sleep on your schedule. As hard as it may be to put away your "to do" list, make sleep a "priority." You'll thank
yourself in the morning.
Unwind early in the evening Try to deal with worries and
distractions several hours before bedtime.
Keep regular hours Go to bed around the same time each
night and wake up close to the same time each morning even on
Create a restful place to sleep Sleep in a cool, dark room that
is free from noises that may disturb your sleep.
Sleep on a comfortable, supportive mattress and foundation It's
difficult to sleep on a bed that's too small, too soft, too hard, or too
Exercise regularly. Regular exercise can help relieve daily
tension and stress but don't exercise too close to bedtime or you
may have trouble falling asleep.|
7. Cut down on caffeine, smoking and alcohol Consuming
stimulants in the evening can make it more difficult to fall asleep
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We have used our best judgment in compiling this information. The Food and Drug Administration may not have evaluated the information presented. Any reference to a specific product is for your information only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease