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Get a Good Night’s Sleep Using These Bedtime Tips

by Megan Sherman, Health and Wellness Educator
Pillow illustration

Ever wake up thinking you could use an extra hour or two of sleep? You aren’t alone.  A third of adults in the U.S. report they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep.

Not getting enough sleep is linked with conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression. These high-risk conditions aren’t just showing up in adults, but they are becoming prevalent in children and adolescents as well. How much sleep should you be getting?

Age Group Recommended Hours of Sleep Per Day
Newborn 0–3 months 14–17 hours (National Sleep Foundation)1
No recommendation (American Academy of Sleep Medicine)2
Infant 4–12 months 12–16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)2
Toddler 1–2 years 11–14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)2
Preschool 3–5 years 10–13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)2
School Age 6–12 years 9–12 hours per 24 hours2
Teen 13–18 years 8–10 hours per 24 hours2
Adult 18–60 years 7 or more hours per night3
 61–64 years 7–9 hours1
 65 years and older 7–8 hours1

 

Start making changes today, and you might notice a boost in memory, increased energy levels or ability to focus. By implementing one or two of these simple bedtime tips you can start to improve sleep health habits for yourself and for your loved ones.

  • Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends or while on vacation.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • 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.
  • Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Reduce your fluid intake before bedtime.

References:

  1. Hirshkowitz M, Whiton K, Albert SM, Alessi C, Bruni O, et al. The National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary. Sleep Health. 2015;1(1):40–43.
  2. 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.
  3. Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, 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.