Sleep is an essential requirement for maintaining good health. We need sleep for for a number of bodily functions, including processing memory, growing muscle, repairing tissue, and synthesizing hormones. A process called consolidation occurs during sleep where short term memories accumulated during the day's activities are converted to stronger long term memory.
How Much Sleep do we Need?
Healthy sleep is critical since we all need to retain information and learn skills to thrive in life. But this is likely part of the reason children—who acquire language, social, and motor skills at a breathtaking pace throughout their development—need more sleep than adults. As adults we need 7-9 hours of sleep a night, whereas one-year-olds need 11 to 14 hours, school age children between 9 and 11, and teenagers between 8 and 10.
Tips to Getting a Good Night's Sleep (Good Sleep Habits)
Many things can help you have a better night's sleep, including some of the products listed below.
- Keep regular times for going to bed and getting up.
- Relax for an hour before going to bed.
- Avoid going to bed on a full or empty stomach.
- Sleep in the dark.
- If you are not asleep after 20 minutes in bed, go to another room until you feel tired again.
- Many poor sleepers spend too long in bed.
- Avoid checking your phone - if you do download apps that eliminate blue from the display to minimize impact of interrupting your sleep cycle.
- Avoid TV or computers before bed, as they emitt blue light which switches your brain into awake mode.
- Keep distracting things out of the bedroom.
- Get some sunlight during the day.
- An evening nap can make it hard to sleep at night.
- Keep a good diet with good nutrition.
- Avoid alcohol before bed.
- To avoid a sluggish or groggy period after sleeping, ensure that you wake slowly using a sunrise clock (available below).