Why is sleep so important?

Sleep is an extremely important part of human health. Effects of poor sleep quality or interruptions include sluggishness, low attention span, decreased sociability, depressed mood, decreased deep sleep, decreased caloric burn during the day, increased hunger and decreased feeling of fullness, insulin resistance and decreased performance. 

Sleep Disruptors 

  • Too much food or drink close to sleep time 
  • Blue light from phone/computer/television screen 
  • Caffeine and alcohol use • Stress/anxiety/worry 
  • Certain noises/sounds 
  • Temperature (too hot or too cold) 
  • Lack of daytime sunlight exposure 
  • Medications and medical conditions 
  • Bed partner and/or pets 

Tips for Better Sleep 

  • Use bed for sleep only 
  • Establish regular sleep schedule (same sleep and wake times) 
  • Minimize/eliminate bedroom noise and lights 
  • Increase daytime exposure to sunlight 
  • Move at least every hour during the day 
  • Eliminate nighttime caffeine and limit daytime caffeine 
  • Avoid alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime 
  • Avoid high-sodium foods close to bedtime 
  • Eliminate/limit after-dinner and late-night snacking 
  • Maintain a healthy BMI 
  • Stay hydrated during the day 
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia 
  • Exercise
  • Food choices 
  • Meditation 

Recommendations for Optimal Health: 

Infants* 4 months to 12 months: 

12 to 16 hours per 24 hours 

Children 1 to 2 years of age: 

 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) 

Children 3 to 5 years of age: 

10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) 

Children 6 to 12 years of age: 

9 to 12 hours per 24 hours

Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age: 

8 to 10 hours per 24 hours 


7-9 hours of sleep per 24 hours 

Source: American College of Lifestyle Medicine

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