NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Goldilocks, the Three Bears, and Sleep

Goldilocks, the Three Bears, and Sleep  5/24/19When Goldilocks discovered three bowls of porridge in the house where the three bears lived, she found one was too hot, one was too cold, and one was “just right.”   That’s kind of the way it is with people and sleep:  some amounts are too much, some amounts are too little, and some amounts are “just right.”

The National Sleep Foundation recommends varying amounts of sleep, depending on a person’s age:

  • 10-13 hours of sleep for children ages 3-5 years,
  • 9-11 hours of sleep for children ages 6-13,
  • 8-10 hours of sleep for children ages 14-17,
  • 7-9 hours of sleep for persons ages 18-64,
  • 7-8 hours of sleep for persons ages 65 and older

If you are like one out of every three people, you have trouble with sleep and sleeping.  In addition to being frustrating, a persistent lack of sleep can lead to a higher risk of:

  • Weight gain
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke

To get better sleep, try these strategies:

  • Practice good sleep hygiene. Cool temperature in the bedroom, clean bedding, dark/quiet room that is free of TV, computer, cell phone and other electronic devices, avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before going to bed, lavender scent in bedroom,
  • Consume a healthy, balanced diet.  Food such as turkey and milk that contain the protein, tryptophan, which helps your body produce melatonin, which aids in falling asleep; foods such as fortified grains and milk are rich in B vitamins and if our body lacks B vitamins it can hinder the production of melatonin; a higher fiber and protein meal that is low in saturated fat can also improve sleep; eating kiwi fruit about one hour before bed may help you fall asleep and stay asleep; “sleep” teas are popular but research does not yet completely confirm its impact on sleep quality
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Incorporate physical activity and exercise into your daily routine.

If you are tempted to start using a sleep aid or supplement, consult your doctor or pharmacist first.  Supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used indiscriminately. 

For additional information about sleep, including links to other reliable sources of information, request “Nourish Your Body with Sleep” from NDSU Extension in Sargent county, or view it online at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/health-fitness/nourish-your-body-with-sleep


Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/people-woman-sleep-2537324/ (downloaded 5/29/19)


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