Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi
Sleep is important for your health

Sleep and Your Health

Did you know getting enough sleep is just as important as exercise and nutrition when it comes to your health? That’s right! Getting quality sleep plays an important role in protecting your mental and physical health along with quality of life and safety.

Even just one night of short sleep can affect your mood, productivity or even your safety when driving a vehicle. Although the amount of sleep needed varies from person to person, sleep is essential at any age and improves focus, memory and overall development. Here is a closer look at recommended hours of sleep.

Age Group Age Recommended Hours of Sleep (per 24 hours)
Newborn 0-3 months 14-17 hours
Infant 4-12 months 12-16 hours
Toddler 1-2 years 11-14 hours
(including naps)
Preschool 3-5 years 10-13 hours
(including naps)
School Age 6-12 years 9-12 hours
Teen 13-18 years 8-10 hours
Adult 18-60 years 7 or more hours
per night
61-64 years 7-9 hours
65 years and older 7-8 hours

Insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk for chronic conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and depression. Here are some tips for getting better sleep.

  • Stick to a schedule and aim to go to bed at the same time every night.

  • Watch what you eat and avoid caffeine, alcohol or sugar before bedtime.

  • Put your electronic devices down about 30 minutes before you plan to go to bed. The blue light they emit stimulates the brain making it harder to fall asleep naturally.

  • Create a comfortable sleep environment that is cool, dark and quiet.

  • Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, muscle relaxation, meditation and mindfulness before going to bed.

  • Get in the recommended amount of exercise most days of the week, but avoid exercise too close to bedtime.

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