Foundations of Health - Sleep

In this article, I will be talking about 1 Pillar of Health - Sleep, and what you can do to have this foundation. These foundations is an awesome start to work towards your health goals, but if you have other underlying conditions, this is the first step. To accelerate your health journey and make sure you are going in the right direction, book an appointment with someone you trust and can work with.

Sleep

Sleep is very important to help your body heal and your mind sort out what has gone through your day. Different ages require different amounts of sleep, but 8 hrs does overlap with all of them.

  • Newborns (0-3 months):14-17 hours each day 
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours 
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours 
  • Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours 
  • School age children (6-13):  9-11 hours 
  • Teenagers (14-17):  8-10 hours 
  • Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours 
  • Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours  (National Sleep Foundation)

A way you can increase the quality of your sleep is by having good sleep hygiene.  This includes discontinuing any electronics for at least an hour before bed, using a night filter on your electronics as soon as the sun sets, and sleeping in a dark room with no lights on, and having a night time ritual (where you wind down, eg. you can take a bath, meditate, or read a novel).

Electronics emit a blue light, which throws off our circadian rhythm, and suppressing the production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies make to help us get into deep sleep to heal and recover. With the suppression of melatonin, it becomes difficult for us to get into deep sleep, or to fall asleep at all, especially with the compounding effect of the light throwing off our circadian rhythm. Exposure to any light while sleeping could do this - especially if they are blue light - which can come from LED light bulbs. This is why it is best to sleep in complete darkness; however, if this is not possible, you can mimic having a dark room by using a sleeping mask. Another thing that could help you go to sleep easier would be using a white noise machine to drown out outside noises, it sounds very similar to the ocean, and is very relaxing. 

Happy sleeping!

~ Dr. Charmagne