From Baptist Health South Florida
3 min. read
“Daylight saving time” officially ends Sunday at 2 a.m. That’s when you “fall back” by turning your clocks back one hour. An extra hour of sleep can be a healthy thing for most of us. But it may not be of much help for those who suffer from sleep disorders and disrupted sleep cycles on a regular basis.
New research keeps reaffirming what sleep experts already know: Not getting enough sleep regularly can contribute to being overweight and worsen chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and depression. Not getting enough sleep has short-term effects on alertness and cognitive function. But over a long period of time, sleep deprivation can lead to significant health issues. It’s important to discuss sleep issues you may be having with your doctor, who can help you find a solution.
“Many times, you have to really hone in with a patient and ask what time they’re going to bed during the weekdays and during the weekends, how much sleep they’re getting, and ask questions about their quality of sleep,” explains Harneet Walia, M.D., director of sleep medicine and continuous improvement at Baptist Health Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute. “So, essentially the symptoms to recognize include daytime sleepiness, fatigue, impaired concentration, not able to work well, and so forth.”
How can nutrition and exercise improve sleep habits?
“First thing we talk about is maintaining a very good sleep hygiene,” said Dr. Walia. “And a big part of it is diet and exercise. So, we often tell folks not to have a heavy meal too close to the bedtime, and avoid alcohol close to the bedtime. Because it can disrupt your sleep at the later part of the night. Avoid caffeine after lunch hours because it has long half-life and can disrupt the sleep.
“And exercise is also helpful in promoting good sleep. There are studies to show that folks who exercise, and particularly do aerobic exercise, are able to fall asleep quickly, and have a better sleep quality. We do discourage them from exercising close to bedtime because that can disrupt sleep. But diet and exercise can play a good role.”
Healthy Sleep Tips
According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), taking the following steps can lead to a better night’s sleep and improve overall health:
How Much Sleep is Best?
The NSF also makes the following widely accepted recommendations for getting the adequate amount of sleep:
Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours each day.
Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours.
Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours.
Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours.
School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours.
Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours.
Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours.
Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours.
Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours.
Dec. 7, 2022
2 min. read
Dec. 2, 2022
5 min. read