Getting enough sleep and having better quality sleep is essential to health and well-being.  


When we sleep, our body is busy doing important work. The brain is working to make connections, retain important information, and get rid of information it does not need. Other parts of the body are also working to repair tissues and cells, strengthen the immune system, and help children and teens grow and develop. 


When we don’t get enough sleep or when our sleep is poor, it can: 

  • Make it harder to pay attention, learn, and remember 
  • Weaken our immune system so we are more likely to get ill or not recover from illnesses as quickly 
  • Affect us emotionally, making it harder to get along with others or feel emotionally connected 


Over time, not having enough sleep can contribute to high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, obesity, depression, and anxiety disorders. 


Getting enough sleep and high-quality sleep can be more difficult when we are busy and have many worries. During stressful times, people’s bodies need rest and repair the most. Here are some things you can do to help ensure you and your family get a good night’s sleep. 

  • Have a Sleep Routine: Going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time helps train the brain and the body for when to sleep. This is especially important for children. In addition to going to bed and waking up at set times, having other sleep routines like putting on pajamas, brushing your teeth, or reading a book can be helpful. Remember to make sure you set bedtime early enough so you can get the needed amount of sleep. 
  • Turn Off Lights: Darkness prompts the brain to produce the hormone melatonin, which makes us drowsy. Try to make the room where you are sleeping as dark as possible.  
  • Avoid Caffeine: Do not drink caffeinated beverages like coffee, black tea, and soda in the afternoon or evening. 
  • Get Exercise: Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day helps promote good sleep. This could be a brisk walk, dancing, biking, or sports activities. 
  • Reduce Fluid Intake: Reduce or stop drinking fluids a few hours before bed to reduce the need to get up during the night to use the bathroom. 
  • Avoid Heavy Meals: Having a large meal close to bedtime can make sleeping harder because the body is working hard on digestion and releasing certain hormones that turn food into energy. 
  • Avoid Certain Foods: Fatty, cheesy, fried, and spicy foods can cause indigestion and acid reflux that can make it harder to sleep. High-sugar foods also cause changes in blood sugar, which can negatively affect sleep. 
  • Avoid Alcohol: While alcohol may make people drowsy, people often have poorer quality sleep and may wake more frequently after consuming alcohol. It can also make conditions like sleep apnea or acid reflux worse. 
  • Limit Screen Time: Studies show that more than two hours of television, cell phones, video games, computers, and other electronic devices in the evening can negatively impact sleep. Experts recommend limiting screen time in the evening and having no screen time for at least one hour before bed. 

Implementing even a few of these sleep tips can lead to better sleep and improve your and your family’s overall health and functioning.