Daily Health 2015-10-09 Healthy Sleep Habits [Infographic] Main Article Content Breadcrumb navigation All/Daily Health/Healthy Sleep Habits How Much Sleep Do You (And Your Kids) Need? Sleep habits and your health are inextricably linked. Your daily routine influences your quality of rest, and your sleep schedule and bedtime habits affect your mental sharpness, performance, emotional well-being and energy level. Deep, restorative sleep is also deeply personal. You may go through some trial and error before finding a routine that works for you. Start with these foundations for healthy sleep: Aim for 8 hours: Most adults function best with at least eight hours of sleep, but 40 percent of Americans get less than the minimum recommended seven. Bring back the bedtime: A regular sleep schedule will help you get in sync with your natural circadian rhythm. A consistent morning wake time may be even more important in aligning your sleep with the 24-hour cycle. Let the light in: Exposure to natural light during the day keeps melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, aligned with your cycle. Stay away from screens: Television, computer or backlit device screens can suppress melatonin, so avoid devices at night or around bedtime. Shoot for 65 degrees: A room that’s too hot or too cold can interfere with sleep; aim for “slightly cool.” Stay healthy during the day: Avoid eating big meals and drinking lots of liquids before bed. The former can keep you up, while the latter may wake you up in the middle of the night. Establish boundaries: Your bed is for sleeping — any other activities (like work) can send the wrong message to your brain when it’s time to wind down. Better Sleep for the Whole Family Healthy sleep habits can also help guide your parenting techniques. As your child ages, the amount of sleep his or her body needs will change. Children develop better sleep habits with firm (not rigid) routines in their lives. Plan yours around these strategies for healthy sleep: Set a good example with your own healthy sleep habits. Set a bedtime and morning wake time and stick to them. Adjusting bedtime as punishment or reward can deliver the wrong message about sleep; the bedroom should be a safe spot associated with sleep and not discipline. Practice a calming bedtime routine, with story time for younger children and reading or listening to mellow music for older kids. Limit caffeine consumption, technology and stimulating activities before bedtime. How much sleep does your child need? Consult our infographic for recommended sleep by age — with tips for you, too. Interested in hearing more from Northwestern Medicine? Sign up for the Healthy Tips E‑Newsletter for everything from health and wellness ideas to patient breakthroughs to academic and medical advancements. Download Healthy Sleep Habits [Infographic] Share This Page Related Topics Sleep Children's Health Parenting Self-Care Related Content Daily Health Quick Dose: Should I Take Melatonin Before Bed? Find out whether melatonin can help your sleep habits with the fast answer from Northwestern Medicine neurologist Ian Katznelson, MD. Daily Health Quick Dose: Why Do I Feel Tired Mid-Afternoon? Find out why you feel less energetic and what to do about it with the fast answer from Northwestern Medicine neurologist Ian Katznelson, MD. Fitness Fitness Goals and How to Meet Them Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or just live a nice long life, working out can help. Emotional Health Staying Healthy When Stressed The better you take care of yourself during stressful times, the easier they’ll be for your mind and body to endure. Daily Health 8 Smart Uses for your Smartphone Many smartphones have numerous features and smart apps that make them much more than just phones. Here are eight. Daily Health What Do Sleep Trackers Track? Nothing beats a good night’s sleep, but if you’re having difficulty sleeping, knowing what a sleep tracker tracks can help put your mind at ease. Daily Health 7 Ways to Wake Up Without Coffee Discover easy healthy habits that can keep you energized all day without needing coffee as a crutch. Daily Health Do Smartphones Sabotage Sleep? Smartphones use blue light displays that can delay your body’s cues to go to sleep and throw off your natural sleep-wake cycles. Daily Health Eats to Help You Sleep Everyone has his or her own trick to turn to when it’s hard to fall asleep. Find out what really works. Daily Health How to Winterize Your Health Your home, your car — entire guides are written for winterizing what you own, and your health is no less deserving. Daily Health How Daylight Saving Affects Your Life The end of Daylight Saving can bring a multitude of side effects for many people. Learn how time change can affect your health. Medical Advances Can Sound Deepen Sleep? The key to a good night’s sleep could be the quality, and not necessarily quantity according to new research from Northwestern University. Daily Health Pick a Side for Sleep If you’re waking up with back pain or a sore neck, it may be time to switch up your sleep position. Discover which side you should sleep on. Medical Advances Can Natural Light Improve Health? Windows in the workplace can improve employees’ quality of life and sleep duration, according to a new study from Northwestern Medicine. Emotional Health 5 Tips for Seasonal Affective Disorder Healthy habits like exercise, goal setting and good food can help with seasonal affective disorder and boost your mood this winter.