Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
Getting enough sleep is important for people of all ages to stay in good health. Learn how much sleep you need.
People often cut back on their sleep for work, for family demands, or even to watch a good show on television. But if not getting enough sleep is a regular part of your routine, you may be at an increased risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, poor mental health, and even early death.
Even one night of short sleep can affect you the next day. Not only are you more likely to feel sleepy, you’re more likely to be in a bad mood, be less productive at work, and be involved in a motor vehicle crash.
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
How much sleep you need changes as you age. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend:
Habits to Improve Your Sleep
- Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
- Remove electronic devices such as TVs, computers, and smart phones from the bedroom.
- Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
- Don’t use tobacco.
- Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
What About Sleep Quality?
Getting enough sleep is important, but good sleep quality is also essential. Signs of poor sleep quality include feeling sleepy or tired even after getting enough sleep, repeatedly waking up during the night, and having symptoms of a sleep disorder (such as snoring or gasping for air). Better sleep habits may improve the quality of your sleep. If you have symptoms of a sleep disorder, such as snoring or being very sleepy during the day after a full night’s sleep, make sure to tell your doctor.
The amount of sleep you need changes as you age. Children need more sleep than adults.
- Paruthi S, Brooks LJ, D’Ambrosio C, Hall WA, Kotagal S, Lloyd RM, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for pediatric populations: a consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. J Clin Sleep Med 2016;12(6):785–786. https://aasm.org/resources/pdf/pediatricsleepdurationconsensus.pdf pdf icon[PDF – 221KB]external icon
- Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, Bliwise DL, Buxton OM, Buysse D, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: a joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. Sleep 2015;38(6):843–844. https://aasm.org/resources/pdf/pressroom/adult-sleep-duration-consensus.pdf pdf icon[PDF – 250KB]external icon