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Tips for Healthy Sleep

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What do I need to know about healthy sleep?

Healthy sleep, or sleep hygiene, is important to your physical, mental, and emotional health. Sleep affects almost every part of your body, including your brain, heart, metabolism, immune system, and mood. Good sleep habits can help you fall asleep and stay asleep during the night. Poor quality sleep or a long-term lack of sleep increases your risk for certain disorders. These include high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression, and diabetes.

What are sleep stages?

The 2 main kinds of sleep are rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM. You cycle through REM and non-REM many times during the night.

How much sleep do I need?

Each person needs a different amount of sleep. Your sleep patterns and needs change as you age. In general, school-aged children and teenagers need about 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night. Most adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. After age 60 years, sleep may be lighter and for less time, with more periods of wakefulness. Older adults may fall asleep and wake up earlier than they did at a younger age. Medicines or conditions, such as chronic pain, may keep older adults awake.

How do I know I am getting healthy sleep?

What can I do to improve my sleep?

Your daily routines influence your sleep. Nutrition, medicines, your schedule, and what you do in the evenings can affect your sleep. Do the following to help improve your sleep:

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.