5 Tricks to Improve Sleep and Fall Asleep Faster
Children and Teens Need 9-10 Hours of Sleep
April 23-29 is Sleep Awareness Week. The National Sleep Foundations recommends school-aged children and teens get 9 to 11 hours and adults 7 to 9 hours nightly. Research has shown that less than 6 hours of sleep can leave you cognitively impaired and more accident prone, as well as increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, depression, anxiety and obesity. With more than 60% of children and adults experiencing sleep problems a few nights per week, Marie Roth, registered dietitian for Blythedale Children’s Hospital & Kohls Eat Well, Be Well Program highlights some the bedtime and lifestyle habits that can help you get the much needed shut-eye.
- Stress is the number one cause of sleep disturbances. Setting aside some time each day to manage stress can help you sleep more soundly and reduce your risk of chronic disease. Try breathing, stretching or meditation techniques.
- The sleep environment plays a critical role. An ideal sleep space should offer a cool temperature, little to no noise disruptions, a comfortable pillow and mattress and complete darkness- including the indicator lights from electronics and modems.
- Put a curfew on screen time 1 to 2 hours before bedtime. Blue light emitting devices and artificial lights block the production of melatonin- the sleep inducing hormone produced by the pineal gland, which is stimulated by darkness. Opt for dim red or yellow lights in the evening because these have a higher wavelength and do not suppress the release of melatonin.
- Eating habits may help or hinder. Overeating, dehydration, added sugars and too much caffeine can contribute to poor sleep quality. In contrast, a wholesome, balanced diet, foods naturally rich in calcium and magnesium, and drinking plenty of plain water promotes good sleep.
- Exercise has shown to significantly improve sleep quality and duration, as well as daytime alertness. The CDC recommends a minimum of 60 minutes of daily physical activity for children and 150 minutes of exercise per week for adults.
THIS MESSAGE WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY BLYTHEDALE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AND KOHLS EAT WELL, BE WELL NUTRITION PROGRAM. FOR MORE TIPS AND INFORMATION VISIT WWW.BLYTHEDALE.ORG/KOHLS
Blythedale Children's Hospital, through the generosity of Kohl’s Department Stores, is proud to offer Blythedale and Kohl's Eat Well, Be Well, an innovative outreach program designed to bring health and nutrition education to schools throughout Westchester and Putnam counties. Through this program, Blythedale staff members teach healthy eating habits to children by providing curricula, training and educational tools to school districts throughout the area. The program provides general nutrition guidelines to students, parents and school faculty. Blythedale Children's Hospital offers experts in nutrition and health-education to speak with local parenting groups, PTAs and school personnel.
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