Quantity Versus Quality When It Comes to Sleep And Your Health

The average person spends approximately one third of their life sleeping. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night and children need 8-12 hours of sleep per 24 hours, depending on age. However, while time is often the primary form of measurement for sleep, it’s not necessarily the most important.

“The quantity and the quality are not the same,” said CHI St. Vincent pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist Dr. Raghu Reddy.

For example, a person that gets seven or eight hours of sleep might also be having numerous sleep disruptions throughout the night. Sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, nightmares and insomnia caused by stress or anxiety are just a few of the conditions that can cause sleep disruptions.

“My strong recommendation to them is do not go take medication,” Dr. Reddy said. “Seek help instead.”

Dr. Reddy provides some tips to improve sleep quality, including having a strict bedtime and wake up time, not taking naps and avoiding too much caffeine. Dr. Reddy is part of the team of specialists at the CHI St. Vincent Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine Clinic, which treats patients with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, hypersomnia and restless leg syndrome, among others.