Heart-Healthy Living Get Enough Good-Quality Sleep
Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. Not getting enough sleep or good-quality sleep over time can raise your risk for chronic health problems. The amount of sleep you need each day will change over the course of your life.
This table shows recent American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommendations that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has endorsed.
|Age||Recommended Hours of Sleep a Day|
|Babies 4-12 months||12-16 (including naps)|
|Children 1-2 years||11-14 (including naps)|
|Children 3-5 years||10-13 (including naps)|
|Children 6-12 years||9-12|
|Teens 13-18 years||8-10|
|Adults 18 years or older||7-9|
Sleep and heart health
Sleep helps heal and repair your heart and blood vessels. It also helps:
- Maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry or full
- Support healthy growth and development
- Support a healthy immune system
Over time, not getting enough quality sleep, called sleep deficiency, can raise your risk of heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
How to sleep better
You can take steps to improve your sleep habits. First, make sure that you allow yourself enough time to sleep. Learn strategies to avoid Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency.
It may help to:
- Spend time outside every day, if possible, and be physically active.
- Avoid nicotine and caffeine.
- Avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours before bedtime.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Use the hour before bed for quiet time. Avoid exercise and bright light.
- Take a hot bath or use relaxation techniques before bed.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark.