– 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
– Elderly (65 or older) 7-8 hours
Source: Sleep Foundation
WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE MY SLEEP?
1) Limit screen time one hour before bedtime
Our bodies have an internal “clock” in the brain, which regulates our circadian rhythm.
Cell phones, laptops and televisions emit blue light, which sends signals to our brain to keep us awake.
2) Address your ‘racing mind’
Take 5 to 10 minutes before bed to sit down with a notebook and write a list of everything you need to do the next day.
3) Avoid caffeine after 12:00 p.m.
If you want to have a hot drink in the afternoon or evening, opt for tea or decaffeinated coffee.
4) Maintain a cool temperature in the bedroom
Keep bedroom thermostats at about 18°C. During spring/summer try sleeping with your bedroom window open to reduce the temperature and increase ventilation.
5) Limit alcohol at night.
While you may fall into deep sleep more easily at first, you later wake up frequently during the night and generally have poorer deep sleep.
6) Supplement vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a role in sleep. Vitamin D is widely available online and in most pharmacies.
If you are not sure if this is appropriate or how much you need, consult your GP.
7) Ensure sufficient intake of magnesium and zinc.
Foods rich in magnesium include spinach, kale, avocado, bananas, cashews, and seeds.
Foods rich in zinc include meat, oysters, crab, cheese, cooked lentils, and dark chocolate (70%+).