Guide: The importance of good sleep and how to get it

A third of U.S. adults report that they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

WHY IS SLEEP IMPORTANT?

Not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions - including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression. 
Not getting enough sleep can lead to motor vehicle crashes and mistakes at work.

HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU NEED? 

How much sleep you need changes as you age. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society have recommendations for children and adults:
Infants (4-12 months) should sleep between 12-16 hours per 24 hours (including naps).
Toddlers (1-2 years) should get between 11-14 hours of sleep per 24 hours (including naps).
Preschool aged children (3-5 years) should sleep 10-13 hours per 24 hours (including naps).
School age children (6-12 years) should get 9-12 hours of sleep per 24 hours.
Teens (13-18 years) should get 8-10 hours of sleep per 24 hours.
And adults should get 7 or more hours per night.

HOW TO GET BETTER SLEEP

While getting enough sleep is important, good sleep quality is also essential. Signs of poor sleep quality include feeling sleepy or tired even after getting enough sleep, repeatedly waking up during the night, and having symptoms of a sleep disorder (such as snoring or gasping for air), according to the CDC. Below are some sleep habits that may help improve the quality of your sleep:
Be consistent Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
Quiet please Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing and at a comfortable temperature.
Warm up Dr. Chris Winter says that pre-warming your body might help you fall asleep or stay asleep.
Electronic devices Remove electronic devices such as TVs, computers, and phones from the bedroom.
Food before bed Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
Don’t smoke Don’t use tobacco. If you need help to stop smoking, here are some tips.
Get some exercise Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.