Healthy Living: Sleep recommendations for the whole family

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Research shows sleep is important for normal growth and development. Is your family getting enough?

If you’re not getting the right quantity or quality of sleep, it could impact your mental and physical health says Dr. Kawish Garg of Geisinger Holy Spirit.

A sleep specialist, Dr. Garg says if you are sleep deprived it can make you more prone to injuries or accidents.

Physically, sleep deprivation can be linked to obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Emotionally, it can make you irritable, sad, depressed or impulsive.

Sleep also impacts concentration, memory and decision making.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the amount of sleep you need varies by age.

Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day
Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours
Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours
Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours
School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours
Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours
Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours
Adults (26-64): Sleep range is 7-9 hours
Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours

National Sleep Foundation sleep recommendations

If you aren’t getting that much sleep, Dr. Garg says to think about your sleep climate and schedule.

For climate, bedrooms should be calm and dark.

Dr. Garg also says to make sure you are avoiding caffeine 4-5 hours before bed and that exercising during the day can help us sleep at night.

As for the kids, getting enough sleep can also impact their school performance.

Dr. Garg says studies show sleep-deprived children score lower on tests.

In one study, he says researchers found kids with C/D averages were sleeping 25-30 minutes less per night than students with better grades.

The school year is rapidly approaching and it is time to start adjusting your child’s sleep schedule.

On Wednesday’s Mommy Minute, Ali Lanyon will have tips for getting your kids back into a good sleep routine.

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