Back to Basics: Sleep


Sleep – we talk about it, we read about it and apparently, we analyze it.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), founded in 1990, is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. One of the goals of this foundation is to increase awareness of the necessity of a good night’s sleep.

As Americans, we need this as according to a 2013 Gallup poll, medical studies have related a lack of sleep to health problems and cognitive impairment. Therefore, experts typically recommend seven to nine hours sleep per night for adults.

Currently, 59% of U.S. adults meet that standard, but in 1942, 84% did. That means four in 10 Americans get less than the recommended amount of nightly sleep, compared with the 11% who did so 70 years ago. Not a good trend for adults and for children, the results are not much better.

Based on the latest study conducted by the NSF, many children get less sleep on school nights than they should, with some getting less sleep than their own parents think they need. The poll asked parents to estimate how much sleep their child typically gets on a school night. Parents’ estimates of sleep time are 8.9 hours for children ages 6 to 10, 8.2 hours for 11 and 12 year olds, 7.7 hours for 13 and 14 year olds and 7.1 hours for teens ages 15 through 17.

The NSF recommends that children ages 6 to 10 get 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night, and that children in the other three age groups get 8.5 to 9.5 hours per night.

There are many articles about sleep and here are the highest ranked tips:

Common Sense Tips for Children & Adults:

  1. Limit caffeine to the mornings.
  2. Exercise regularly.
  3. Turn off electronics at night.
  4. Have a bedtime routine for younger children and establish consistent bed times for older ones.
  5. Create a comfortable sleep environment.
  6. Read or do a quiet activity instead of watching TV or playing videos right before bedtime.
  7. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths right before bed to clear your mind and relax your body.

Still Having Trouble?

You may want to:

  • Break out the lavender oil
  • Drink chamomile tea
  • Use eye pillows
  • Take Rescue Remedy® or White Chestnut flower essences
  • Go to an acupuncturist
  • Sink into a warm bath with relaxing bath oils
  • Get a nice massage

Sleep is important.

Go get some. Tonight.