HOW MUCH SLEEP IS RECOMMENDED?
Infants 12-17 hours
Toddlers (1-2) 11 – 14 hours
Preschoolers (3-5) 10 – 13 hours
School Age (6-13) 9-11 hours
Teens (14-17) 8-10 hours
Adults (18-64) 7-9 hours
Older Adult (65+) 7-8 hours
The above recommendations assume that the quality of sleep is good, but in many cases it is not. Lack of sleep, or poor quality of sleep, can be dangerous, causing car accidents or job related injuries due to the slowing of your reaction time; relationship problems; poor job performance; memory loss; health issues and mood disorders. Lack of quality sleep contributes to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer and many more ailments.
WHAT CAUSES POOR QUALITY SLEEP?
- Bad habits: Do you have irregular bedtimes? Do you drink caffeine drinks late in the afternoon or evening? Do you smoke or consume alcohol in the evening? Do you fall asleep with the TV on? Do you allow time for digestion after dinner?
- Mental Health: Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder and the drugs used to treat these problems can all take away your ZZZZs.
- Health problems: Chronic pain, arthritis, GERD, heart failure, thyroid problems, neurological disorders, hormonal imbalances and many medications can all interfere with sleep. Malnutrition can also play a role such as magnesium deficiency which can cause depression, mood changes and stress- like symptoms.
- Sleep apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome: Not only seriously effects quantity and quality of sleep for the victim, but can also affect others.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Turn off the Tube. Additionally, video games and surfing the net late in the evening promote the “stay awake” mechanisms of the body.
- Employ Bedtime Rituals. A warm bath and a book, a regular bedtime, peaceful music, learn relaxation techniques and meditation.
- Exercise regularly, preferably not just before bedtime.
- See your doctor. A sleep diary can help by keeping track of your bedtimes and waking hours, how long and well you slept, amount of waking times and how long you stayed awake, your emotions and stress level and a list of medications you take.
- There are several types of therapy available such as Relaxation Training, biofeedback to help control breathing, heart rate, muscle control and mood and cognitive-behavioral therapy to ease worries.
- Ask your doctor for a sleep test. Sleep apnea is treatable by applying a CPAP or dental sleep appliance. The change experienced, from the return of youthful energy and the return of memory, to better health and more, can all be as a result of correcting sleep problems.
At my office, the Advanced Oral Diagnosis and Treatment Center in Danville, we have delivered hundreds of dental sleep appliances with an amazing rate of success. Most medical insurances cover dental appliances for obstructive sleep apnea. Contact us today to learn more: www.aodtc.com and 925-837-8048.