Sunday, July 21, 2024

Sleep Health Info

How much sleep do I need?


The suggested amount of sleep that is required varies with age.
Less or more than this amount is not recommended, except in times of stress and illness, as well as pregnancy.
Newborn 0-3 months 14–17 hours per 24 hours
Infant 4–12 months 12–15 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
Toddler 1–2 years 11–14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
Preschool 3–5 years 10–13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
School Age 6–12 years 9–11 hours per 24 hours
Teen 13–18 years 8–10 hours per 24 hours
Adult 18–64 years 7–9 or more hours per night
 Senior 65 years and older 7–8 hours per night

The normal sleep cycle is made up of a sequence of varying sleep phases. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM sleep make up the two main types of sleep.

How many Australians do not get enough sleep?

Inadequate sleep, of either duration or quality, and its daytime consequences are quite common in Australian adults, affecting up to 45% of adults. Normal sleep cycles Normal sleep is made up of sleep cycles, which usually repeat every 90 to 110 minutes.

 This equates to 4, 5 or 6 cycles in an adult’s sleep period.
• REM sleep involves quick eye movements that can be observed during deep sleep. The brain is highly active during REM sleep, yet the body is very inactive. REM sleep is when most of your dreaming happens, and your eyes move rapidly in different directions. Your heart rate increases, and your breathing becomes more irregular.
• Non-REM sleep is often broken up into 3 stages.
 Stage 1: During this stage, you can still hear things and have a sense of awareness. Your brain has dozed into sleep, but you do not feel like you are asleep.
Stage 2: This is “light sleep”. You are asleep but can be woken easily. Your body does “body maintenance” during lighter stages of sleep. Breathing and heart rate usually decrease slightly during this stage. Light sleep takes up more than half the night and is especially important to well-being.
Stage 3: This is “deep sleep”. During this stage, you become less responsive to outside influences. Heart rate and breathing rate reduce and muscles relax, heart rate usually becomes more regular. Your parts of the brain that think are turned off and your muscles are very relaxed.

Important Note

Good sleep is essential to good health. If you are worried, see your GP about having an overnight sleep study, either in a hospital or at home. Medicare will fund this if certain criteria are met. Follow this up with a visit to the sleep specialist who wrote your report to get your results and treatment options. Telehealth sleep specialists are available throughout Australia if preferred.

Another option is to see a sleep specialist or a sleep psychologist. They are available in every major city in Australia, and they also visit many smaller centres. Telehealth appointments are also available. They will offer treatment options for any sleep problems that they identify, in consultation with you. Call us for help finding one near you.

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