Sleep: Getting Your Z's

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My MedlinePlus

October 9, 2019

black and white dog sleeping in a dog bed with front let around a stuffed teddy bear

How Much Sleep Do I Need?

The amount of sleep you need depends on several factors, including your age, lifestyle, health, and whether you have been getting enough sleep recently. The general recommendations for sleep are

  • Newborns: 16-18 hours a day
  • Preschool-aged children: 11-12 hours a day
  • School-aged children: At least 10 hours a day
  • Teens: 9-10 hours a day
  • Adults (including older adults): 7-8 hours a day

And it's not just the number of hours of sleep you get that matters. The quality of the sleep you get is also important. People whose sleep is frequently interrupted or cut short might not get enough sleep.

Why Can't I Fall Asleep?

Sleep disorders are conditions that disturb your normal sleep patterns. There are more than 80 different sleep disorders including sleep apnea, insomnia and restless leg syndrome. Learn more about the symptoms of sleep disorders and how they are diagnosed.


Me, Snore?

Snoring is the sound you make when your breathing is partially blocked while you are asleep. The sound is caused by tissues at the top of your airway that strike each other and vibrate. If your snoring is severe, it can cause you to wake up frequently and be sleepy during the daytime. It can also disrupt your bed partner's sleep. There are ways to reduce your snoring.


Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes your breathing to stop or get very shallow. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. People with sleep apnea often snore loudly. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. You are more at risk for sleep apnea if you are overweight, male, or have a family history of small airways. Learn more.


Improve Your Sleep Habits

Good sleep habits can help you get a good night’s sleep. Develop a routine to help you prepare for sleep:

  • Be consistent. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including weekends.
  • Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Remove electronic devices like TVs, computers, and smartphones.

Find more tips on getting a good night's sleep.


Whole Wheat Quick Bread

Try this recipe for Whole Wheat Quick Bread and have homemade bread made with simple ingredients in only one hour.