Many adults look back at their childhood days, confused about how they could have ever fussed about laying down for a much needed night’s rest.
With hectic schedules and multiple extracurricular and scholastic obligations, it is more important than ever for both parents and their children to ensure that they are receiving adequate sleep each night so that they may perform optimally mentally, emotionally, and physically. Sleep is connected directly to the hormonal response of the body. Therefore, inadequate sleep could lead to health issues and concerns such as obesity. Lack of sleep can also effect cognitive functions needed to perform adequately in school.
So How Much Sleep is “Enough” Sleep?
The answer is highly debated. The number of hours that each person needs in order to function optimally depends largely upon the age, gender, and activity level of the individual Therefore, instead of providing strict guidelines, I will provide some tools for getting the most out of your “good-night’s rest”
- Turn off Technology: Many children and adults have grown accustomed to staring at their phone and/or tablet for hours prior to falling asleep. Although this may seem like a practical, and relaxing way to turn-in for the night, research has shown that looking at such devices prior to sleep can actually disrupt sleep quality and leave persons feeling lethargic the following day.
- Promote “Quiet Time” before bed: Begin to “wind-down” approximately an hour before bed. Turn off all electronics, and partake in relaxing activities (stretching, taking a shower, reading a book). This will help the body, and the mind to relax, promoting a smoother transition into a deep sleep
- Set a Routine: Decide how many hours you would like to get each night. Depending upon you work-load for the evening, beginning preparing for bed, getting into a state of relaxation and turning off or silencing electronics approximately an hour before your predetermined bedtime. Do this each night, and eventually this will be a set routine. Slowly increase or decrease the duration of the hours spent sleeping depending upon how you feel in the morning.
Try these simply suggestions, and find out what a full night of sleep can do for you!
Matricciani, L. A., Olds, T. S., Blunden, S., Rigney, G., & Williams, M. T. (2012). Never enough sleep: a brief history of sleep recommendations for children. Pediatrics, 129(3), 548-556.
Vargo, K. (2014, December 4). Sleep: The Foundation for Fueling your Brain and Body. Retrieved May 25, 2016, from http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy-living-article/60/5205/sleep-the-foundation-for-fueling-your-brain-and/