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– Preschool (3-5 years): 10-13 hours
– School-age (6-13 years): 9-11 hours
– Teen (14-17 years): 8-10 hours
– Young adult (18-25) 7-9 hours
– Adult (26-64): 7-9 hours
– Older adult (65 or more) 7-8 hours
Source: Sleep Foundation
WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE MY SLEEP?
1) Limit screen time an hour before bed
Our bodies have an internal ‘clock’ in the brain, which regulates our circadian rhythm.
Mobiles, laptops and TVs emit blue light, which sends signals to our brain to keep us awake.
2) Address your ‘racing mind’
Take 5-10 minutes before you go to sleep to sit with a notebook and write down a list of anything that you need to do the following day.
3) Avoid caffeine after 12pm
If you want a hot drink in the afternoon or evening, go for a decaffeinated tea or coffee.
4) Keep a cool bedroom temperature
Keep bedroom thermostats to around 18°C. During spring/summer try sleeping with your bedroom window open to reduce the temperature and increase ventilation.
5) Limit alcohol in the evenings
While you might initially fall into deep sleep more easily, you then wake up frequently during the night and have poorer deep sleep overall.
6) Supplement vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a role in sleep. Vitamin D is widely available online and from most pharmacies.
If you are unsure if this is appropriate or how much you need, seek advice from your GP.
7) Ensure sufficient intake of magnesium and zinc
Foods high in magnesium include spinach, kale, avocado, bananas, cashews, and seeds.
Foods high in zinc include meat, oysters, crab, cheese, cooked lentils, and dark chocolate (70%+).