Affinity Health Plan

  • Health Awareness Series: March 2017 - Sleep Health

    March 01, 2017

    Did you know that 25% of adults in the United States report that they do not get enough sleep? Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night.  Our constant need to keep up with our social media tools (like our phone or computer) or just the stresses of daily life are keeping us up late.

    What is a good night’s sleep?

    • Being able to fall asleep within 15-20 minutes after lying down
    • Sleeping a total of 7-9 hours within a 24 hour day
    • Sleeping nonstop without waking up a lot
    • Waking up feeling refreshed
    • Feeling alert throughout your waking hours

    Why is it important to get enough sleep?
    Getting enough sleep can boost your mental and physical health, and help keep you safe from making mistakes and causing an accident.   

    Diabetes: Too little sleep can change the way our bodies use glucose (blood sugar). People who do not sleep enough are less able to break down glucose. It does not go into our cells as it should, but stays in the blood and raises our risk of getting diabetes.

    Heart Disease: During sleep, your blood pressure and heart rate go down, and your heart does not have to work as hard. One study shows that people over 45 years of age who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night have twice the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

    Depression: There is a strong link between sleep and depression. Depression may cause sleep problems or sleep problems may cause depression, or make it worse. Some of the common effects of depression on sleep include having a hard time falling asleep, problems staying asleep, waking too early in the morning, waking up feeling tired, and not being able to stay awake during the day.

    Personal safety: Sleeping enough helps you stay alert to what’s happening around you. Drowsy driving causes about one million crashes a year.

    How much sleep should I get?
    The amount of sleep you need varies with your age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) chart below shows us how much sleep we should get each day.

    Age Group

    Recommended Hours of Sleep per 24 Hours


    0-3 months

    14-17 hours (from the National Sleep Foundation)


    4-12 months

    12-16 hours (including naps)


    1-2 years

    11-14 hours (including naps)


    3-5 years

    10-13 hours (including naps)

    School Age

    6-12 years

    9-12 hours


    13-18 years

    8-10 hours



    18-60 years

    7 or more hours

    61-64 years

    7-9 hours

    65 years and older

    7-8 hours

    Tips for a good night’s sleep

    • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
    • Keep your bedroom quiet and dark, not too hot or too cold.
    • Use your bed only for sleeping. Take all the electronic equipment out of your room. Read, watch TV, listen to music, check your email and surf the web in another room.
    • Avoid big meals right before you go to bed.
    • See a doctor if you snore, have long pauses in breathing or sleep restlessly.

    To learn more, please visit:
    National Sleep Foundation:


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