Good Sleep Practices

Your brain wants to have consistency; that’s just the way we are wired. If you make a bedtime schedule that you stick to, your body learns how to fall asleep on its own.

When you are creating a bedtime ritual or routine is important to consider a few points.

  • Have a regular bedtime
  • Set a consistent wake-up time
  • Be aware of any stimulants or supplements you take
  • No alcohol, dairy products, or cigarettes within 4 hours of bedtime
  • Create routines to prepare for bed
  • Be consistent

 

What is Normal Sleep?

Getting a full and restful night’s sleep means:

  • You are able to fall asleep almost effortlessly
  • Sleep is not interrupted by waking up repeatedly
  • You feel refreshed when waking up

Sleep Stages

Sleep cycles generally take about 90 minutes to complete, and each cycle is made up of five stages of sleep.

Stage 1: Light Sleep

  • Feels like you are drifting in and out of sleep
  • You may experience small muscle spasms or feel like you’re falling

Stage 2: Onset of Sleep

  • Your breathing and heart rate slow
  • Your body temperature drops

Stage 3: First Stage of Deep Sleep

  • This is a short transition to Stage 4

Stage 4: Second Stage of Deep Sleep (90 minutes total)

  • Your muscles relax
  • Slow brain waves take over
  • Tissue regrowth and repair occurs in this stage

Stage 5: Rapid Eye Movement (REM) (120 minutes total)

  • Your brain becomes more active than when you are awake
  • Your eyes dart back and forth rapidly
  • Your muscles are inactive — your body becomes immobile, paralyzed
  • Dreams become more intricate and memorable
  • Immune system is repaired
  • Brain cells discharge waste products including those that cause dementia

How Much Sleep Do I Need?

  • Newborns (0-3 months) 14-17 Hours
  • Infants (4-11 months) 12-15 Hours
  • Toddlers (1-2) 11-14 Hours
  • Pre-schoolers (3-5) 10-13 Hours
  • School-aged Children (6-13) 9-11 Hours
  • Teens (14-17) 8-10 Hours
  • Young Adults (18-25) 7-9 Hours
  • Adults (26+) 7-9 Hours