Friday, July 26, 2019

The new school year is just around the corner, making it the perfect opportunity to stock up on some Zzzs and set a sleep routine.

Children ages 3 to 5 should get 10 to 13 hours of sleep; children ages 6 to 13 should get nine to 11 hours of sleep; and teenagers ages 14 to 17 should aim for eight to 10 hours of sleep each night. For optimal health, adults should get seven to nine hours of sleep daily.

According to the American Sleep Association, there are several important reasons why you and your loved ones should get your rest.

The Value of a Good Night's Sleep

According to a study from the Mental Health Foundation, people who did not get enough sleep were more likely to have relationship problems, four times more likely to suffer from a lack of concentration, three times more likely to be depressed and 2.6 times more likely to commit suicide.

  • Brain health: Inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings; decreased memory and problem-solving skills; poor job or academic performance; and feelings of depression. Proper sleep is essential to proper brain function.
  • Long-term physical health: Studies have shown that adults who get less than six hours of sleep each night on a continuous basis are at a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese, and/or developing several chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  • Immune system health: Sleep not only provides energy to our brains and body, it also gives a boost to our immune systems to help us ward off infections.
  • Safety: People who do not get adequate sleep are at a higher risk for vehicle and machine-related accidents.

The Keys to Getting Some Zzzs

  • Set a consistent sleep schedule on weekdays and weekends and stick to that schedule.
  • Remove or turn off electronic devices in your bedroom. This includes cell phones, televisions, computers and video games.
  • Try a relaxing activity before bed like reading or listening to music.
  • Keep your room at a comfortable temperature and ensure there are no distracting sounds or lights.
  • Avoid alcohol or caffeine near bedtime.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Choose comfortable mattresses and pillows.
  • Make sure all studying or work is done well before bedtime so your brain has time to “turn off.”

Speak with your primary care provider if you or a loved one shows signs of a possible sleep disorder. This may include excessive sleepiness during the day; inattention; tardiness; mood swings and/or depression; increased irritability, hyperactivity and impatience; poor job or academic performance; and impulse control problems.

If your provider thinks you or a loved one do have a sleep disorder, Oklahoma Sleep Associates can help. Oklahoma Sleep Associates offers evaluations by specially trained physicians, as well as a sleep laboratory where you can undergo a sleep study. As part of Oklahoma Sleep Associates’ comprehensive care plans, they continue to monitor your progress after treatment is complete.

Although these are great tips on staying healthy by getting your rest, we know that your family will get colds and other illnesses. If you need medical advice, Norman Regional has you covered. Learn more about Norman Regional Virtual Care or log on to visit with a provider 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the comfort of your home or office. It’s quick, convenient and only costs $45 for each visit.