Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
Everyone can agree getting a good night's sleep is important, but few people are actually getting the rest that's needed in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The National Sleep Foundation has unveiled new recommendations for hours between the sheets each night, and the numbers vary by age group.
According to the report, adults between the ages of 26 and 64 should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep on a daily basis.
Jerry Montgomery, 57, of Newark, said he's been squeezing in six hours per night for the last 30 years as a bus driver.
"You'd love to get eight hours, but it never happens," he said.
Ocean Township resident Suzanne Behar, 44, said she hardly ever has a chance to reach the recommended sleep, but it's not her fault.
"We have the iPads to blame," she said. "It's definitely all our technology that keeps us up."
Electronic devices, according to NSF, interfere with one's circadian rhythm. Sleep cycles can also be interrupted by stimulants during the day, such as coffee and energy drinks.
The recommended sleep range for teenagers was widened to eight to 10 hours.
Dr. Douglas Livornese, medical director at Comfort Sleep in Neptune, said teens have a much harder time managing sleep deprivation, but many stay up until the late night hours on their phones or computers, despite an early start to school the next day.
"They're going through their greatest growth time, and they need recovery time with sleep," Livornese said.
Between nine and 11 hours of sleep was recommended for school-age children. Toddlers up to 2 years old would be expected to sleep anywhere from 12 to 15 hours per day.
Sally Gallagher of Persante Sleep Care in Mount Laurel insisted "sleep hygiene" is crucial for people of any age.
"Go to bed at the same time every night," she said. "Wake up at the same time. Exercise, good diet."
A comfortable mattress and pillows can be very helpful as well.