Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life and the right quanity can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.
The way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.
The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant (such as a car crash), or it can harm you over time and can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.- NIH
As you get older, your sleep patterns may change. You may find that you get fewer hours of shut-eye, and you wake up more often during the night. But there steps you can take to help you get the rest you need.
Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
Every person’s sleep needs are different. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7 to 9 hours a night.
If you’re getting less sleep than when you were younger but still feel rested and energetic during the day, it might just be that you now need less than you used to.
But if your lack of sleep affects you during the day, then it’s time to take action.
First, try the easiest things, like these:
- Stick to a regular bedtime.
- Turn off your computer and TV an hour before bed.
- Take a little time to relax.
- Spend less time in bed. If you can, get up.
- Limit daytime naps.
- If you can’t sleep, get up for a little while and try again.
- Don’t drink alcohol close to bedtime.
If that doesn’t take care of your sleep problems, tell your doctor about it. He can check on any conditions you might have, your medications, and let you know if a sleep specialist might help.