There are few choices we make in our day that impact our over-all health more than how much sleep we are getting and the quality of that sleep. A study by Harvard University found insufficient sleep can lead to poor health and medical conditions like obesity, diabetes, a weak immune function, common cold and poor mental health. And yet in our busy lives often the first thing to go is adequate sleep. But how much is adequate? How much sleep should we be getting?

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The CDC recommends newborns have between 14-17 hours and about that same amount for infants and todlers. Children 6-12 years need 9-12 hours. Adults need 7-9 hours and if that’s the case nearly everyone is behind on their sleep (especially if you have an infant or small child.)

Poor sleep quality can impact our mood, leave us feeling unrested and frustrated. Sleep quality can also be impacted by sleep disorders like sleep apnea or insomnia.

To get better sleep there are some habits we can work on:

  1. Be consistent with bedtimes
  2. Remove electronic devices from the bedroom
  3. Avoid blue light devices like cellphones
  4. Avoid caffeine
  5. Avoid spicy or overly large meal

Keeping a sleep journal can help determine what techniques work best and how much sleep we are getting each day.

What sleep techniques have you found helpful? How much sleep do you get a night?