How Much Sleep is Enough?

Getting a good night’s rest is vital to overall health and wellbeing. The question that pops up throughout our lifespan is how much sleep do we need? Turns out, it is a moving target.

“There is an epidemic of sleep deprivation,” says Dr. Jose Colon.
Meaning most of us aren’t getting it right. Dr. Jose Colon is a sleep specialist with Lee Memorial Health System. He says sleep needs vary with age. Beginning with young children, he suggests these guidelines:
“Some general rules that are easy to remember are that a 12-month old should get 11 plus one. Eleven hours of sleep plus one nap. A ten year-old should get about ten hours of sleep. A ninth grader through high school should get about nine hours of sleep per night and then as an adult when you have your eight hours of sleep per night,” says Dr. Colon.
When you repeatedly don’t get the proper amount of sleep, experts describe it as a sleep debt. And it has an important impact on behavior, in particular with children and teenagers, whose growing brains need downtime.

“When we have chronic sleep deprivation, neurocognitive function suffers. The brain matures from the back to the front. And the front part of the brain is the last to mature and that fully matures around teenage to young adult years. Well what’s in the front part of the brain? Your executive function, the things that control impulse control,” says Dr. Colon.
The key to getting enough sleep is routine. Throughout life, setting the stage for success from bedtimes to limits on electronic devices at night. And at any age, allowing time to de-stress or slow down before bedding down helps people rest easier.

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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.


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