The Importance of Sleep

Did you know National Sleep Awareness Week falls in March? The week of March 12-18th to be exact. Busy schedules, work, kid’s sports, planning meals, doctors’ appointments and the list goes on and on. Taking care of ourselves and loved ones can be exhausting. Adequate sleep can be considered self-care or just taking care of your hygiene. Your body will notify you when you need to rest to repair other parts of your body. While you sleep your body brain is still working. It is working to repair your immune system and sleep also allows your brain to remove toxins during those hours of rest. Your brain performance, mood and energy levels are restored while you sleep as well.

How much sleep is enough? Honestly, it depends on your age. Babies sleep A LOT. Ages 4 months to 12 months should get about 12-14 hours a day with naps. Toddlers ages 1-5 should range anywhere from 10 hours to 14 hours a day with naps. Kids and adolescents ages 6-18 should be getting 8-12 hours a day. Adults on the other hand should get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Think quality over quantity. Just because you sleep more does not mean that it was quality sleep where you wake up feeling refreshed and energized. 5-6 hours of sound uninterrupted quality sleep may be more beneficial than sleeping 8-10 hours where you are tossing and turning throughout.

Getting quality sleep can be challenging but there are some tips out there to help. Paying attention to what you are eating is important. Do not go to sleep hungry or stuffed, the discomfort of either may keep you awake. Limiting caffeine intake prior to sleep can also help. Caffeine can take nearly 8 hours to leave your blood stream. Increasing your daily physical activity allows your body to release hormones that can be beneficial to getting a restful sleep. Creating a restful environment can also contribute to quality sleep. Limit the blue light exposure from tvs, cell phones and tablets. Keeping a cool dark and quiet sleeping space helps to tell your body it is time to rest. Each individual may find a different technique that allows them to have good sleep hygiene, but making it a priority will improve your overall health.

Written By: Nichole Storr, MHA, CHMS


  • Military Health System (Ed.). (2023). National Sleep Awareness Week. Military Health System.
  • News in Health (Ed.). (2022, July 15). Good sleep for good health. National Institutes of Health.,stroke%20to%20obesity%20and%20dementia.
  • Olson, E. J. (2023, February 21). How many hours of sleep do you need?. Mayo Clinic. Foundation for Medical Education and Research (Ed.). (2022, May 7). 6 steps to better sleep. Mayo Clinic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *