PUBLISHER’S NOTE: National Sleep Awareness Week

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: National Sleep Awareness Week

One Conversation You Don’t Want to Sleep On

In addition to the important awareness topics we’re addressing in this edition, I wanted to talk about something that we often take for granted— sleep.  May 23-29 is National Sleep Awareness Week, and it’s important for so many reasons.  Without enough of it, you will experience cognitive shutdown.  In addition, those who suffer from chronic sleep loss are more at risk for serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and even heart failure.  

There are certain sleep disorders that also might prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep, such as insomnia, REM sleep behavior disorder, restless leg syndrome, and more.  But whether you tend to burn the candle at both ends, or suffer from a more serious sleep deprivation condition, you should consult your health physician on how to get better quality of sleep.

There are treatments available, and many ways to create a better sleep environment so you are more inclined to sleep deeply and feel rested when you wake up.  Do you know how many hours of sleep you should be getting?  The National Sleep Foundation did extensive research in 2015, and subsequently announced new recommendations for appropriate sleep durations.  Those recommendations are as follows:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
  • School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)


If you are not getting the recommended hours of sleep for your age group, talk to your healthcare provider.  This is one conversation you do not want to sleep on.

Categories: Columns, Health News