Most Americans are skimping on quality sleep: the CDC even declared that insufficient sleep is a national problem, and over one-third of Americans do not get enough sleep on a regular basis. Here is why sleep is important, how much sleep is needed, and signs that you may not be getting enough.
Why Sleep is Critical for Health
Sleep is one of the most foundational aspects of our health. Just a few benefits of sleep include:
- Improving memory and focus
- Boosting mood
- Stabilizing blood sugar
- Strengthening the immune system
How Much Sleep is Enough?
Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep. Factors such as age, gender, and stress levels can impact how much sleep our bodies require. Here are the CDC's guidelines for healthy sleep by age each night:
- Infant (4-12 months) - 12-16 hours
- Toddler (1-2 years) - 11-14 hours
- Preschool (3-5 years) - 10-13 hours
- School Age (6-12 years) - 9-12 hours
- Teen (12-18 years) - 8-10 hours
- Adult (18-60 years) - 7-9 hours
Signs You May Be Sleep Deprived
Although we all stay up too late from time to time because of family demands, work, and even to watch our favorite show - consistent sleep deprivation can be a real health issue. Some signs that you are not getting enough sleep include:
- Frequent yawning
- Frequent illness
- Excessive sleepiness
If you are struggling to sleep, there are some ways to improve your sleep hygiene at home. Keeping consistent sleep hours (even on weekends), avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bed, and restricting screens 30-60 minutes before falling asleep can all help improve sleep quality.
However, if you struggle with poor sleep even with these changes, speak with your healthcare provider. There are certain medical conditions, such as sleep apnea, that can be treated!
Patient Plus Urgent Care – Get in, Get better.
When you’re sick or injured, whether routine or urgent, quality medical care should be easy to find and available when you need it. That’s the idea behind Patient Plus Urgent Care, with convenient locations in Baton Rouge, Prairieville, & Brusly.
Patient Plus treats most common illnesses and injuries — the sniffles, rashes, fevers, aches, breaks, and other conditions that deserve prompt treatment but aren’t serious enough to require a trip to the nearest emergency room. The clinics provide complete diagnostic services, including X-rays, EKGs, and flu and strep tests. Other services include physicals, vaccinations, and more. Patient Plus clinics are open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and patients never need to call first or make an appointment.