Employer Solutions | one year ago

Getting Enough Sleep is Key to Good Health

Getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining good overall health. A lack of quality sleep can have significant negative effects on both physical and mental health.

Research shows that getting too little sleep can have lasting negative health results.

In fact, a lack of good sleep (also called sleep deprivation) has been tied to a host of health problems, including weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, depression, anxiety, declines in memory and even accidents.

How much is enough?How much sleep is enough

According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Yet 1 out of 3 adults say they get fewer than 7 hours of shut-eye.

For school-aged children, sleeping between 9 and 11 hours a night is best. Only half of kids 6 to 17 years of age get the recommended amount of sleep.

Tips for a better night’s rest

If you’re a parent, you know the importance of bedtime routines – reading a story or listening to lullabies, taking a warm bath, getting into comfy pajamas, lowering the lights, fluffing the bed. These activities give children clear cues that it’s time to wind down and get ready for bed. Adults can benefit from practicing relaxing bedtime rituals too. And mobile devices don’t help. With many of us admitting going to bed with our phones, maybe even waking to check messages or the news, this only adds to the lack of restful sleep.

Here are 5 tips for a better night’s sleep:

Sleep Number graphic 1Establish a regular sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps to regulate your body’s natural sleep rhythm.

Sleep Graphic Number 2Create a relaxing bedtime routine. This can involve taking a warm bath, reading a book, or doing some gentle stretching.

sleep number graphic 3Keep a cool, comfortable bedroom environment. An ideal bedroom temperature for sleeping is 65 degrees, with minimal noise and light.

Sleep number graphic 4Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Caffeine inhibits sleep, alcohol causes disturbed sleep.

Sleep number graphic 5Avoid using electronic devices in bed. The blue light emitted by screens can suppress the production of the hormone that makes you sleepy.

Sleep signs horizontal graphic

  • Having very little energy or feeling sleepy during the day
  • Feeling irritable or being short with people
  • Trouble thinking or focusing
  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Headaches

Look into sleep problems

If you or a loved one has trouble falling or staying asleep, or you notice loud snoring, pauses in your breathing or waking up with a choking feeling, leg cramps or tingling, tell your doctor. These can be signs of a sleep disorder that should be addressed.

Learn more about Atrium Health’s Sleep Medicine Program

Find out if you’re at risk for sleep apnea - Take the Sleep Apnea Quiz.

Need help getting a better night’s sleep?  Please contact your regular physician or call 877-275-3373 to make an appointment with a sleep specialist.