There are some things you’re just never too old for, like birthday parties, a good clean joke, and bedtime. Wait — what? If you think you ditched bedtime around the time you started picking out your own outfits for the day, think again. Setting a specific time to go to sleep will help to ensure you get the rest you need to function well and feel great. And having a bedtime routine can be especially helpful for people who have sleep apnea in Longview.
Sleep apnea is a condition that leads to interrupted sleep and chronic exhaustion. Left untreated, it results in a host of health conditions — and in the most severe cases, premature death. By sticking to a bedtime regimen, you can improve the quality of your sleep to feel more refreshed and energetic the next day.
But what if you don’t really know how much sleep you should be getting every night? Sounds like you need a bedtime calculator.
Let’s Do Some Sleep Math
It’s not hard to figure out how much sleep you should be getting every night. We need two pieces of information: how many hours of sleep you need based on your age and the time you should be waking up every day.
The formula looks like this:
[time you wake up] – [hours of sleep you need] = bedtime
Now fill in the formula with this key.
Age: Hours of Sleep Needed
4-12 months: 12 to 16 hours, including naps
1 to 2 years old: 11 to 14 hours, including naps
3 to 5 years old: 10 to 13 hours, including naps
6 to 12 years old: 9 to 12 hours
13 to 18 years old: 8 to 10 hours
18+ years old: 7 hours or more
So let’s say you’re a 38-year-old who wakes up at 6:30 every morning. That means you need at least 7 hours of sleep every night — leaving you with a bedtime of 11:30 pm or before!
Developing a Bedtime Routine
Of course, having a bedtime doesn’t really help if you can’t actually fall asleep when it’s time to close your eyes. To help, you will need to keep a few things in mind during the day and develop a routine to stick to right before bed.
Some tips for better sleep include:
- Avoid caffeine after 3 pm
- Limit naps during the day
- Take 30 minutes to unwind before bed — preferably without looking at a screen
- Read a book or write in a journal about an hour before you sleep
- Take a warm shower or drink a hot beverage before bed
- Go to sleep at the same time each day
These tips should help you love bedtime again. If you still can’t fall asleep, however, or if you do fall asleep but snore loudly or have trouble staying asleep, you may have a sleep disorder in Longview. Your dentist is an expert — so don’t hesitate to seek professional help for snoring, sleep apnea, or any other issue you suspect is taking away from your restful sleep!
About the Authors
Dr. David Vaca and Dr. Chris Kirby provide sleep apnea therapy and general dentistry services to Longview friends and neighbors. To learn more about sleep apnea or any of their other comprehensive dental services, you are invited to contact your dentist in Longview at 903-663-0861.