From proper caloric intake to drinking enough water to exercising enough, Dr. Yusuf Mosuro knows there is a lot to keep track of when trying to improve your lifestyle. What most people forget though, is how important getting quality sleep really is.

We know that children need more sleep than adults, but how much do adults really need? The average for adults aged 26-64 is 7-9 hours of sleep a night. As little as 6, or as many as 10 hours may be appropriate, but anything outside that 6 to 10 hour a night range is not recommended.

While it may seem easy to get 8 hours of sleep a night, the quality sleep is what is required, not the time in bed. A few things to pay attention to when calculating how much sleep you, individually, actually need:

  • Do you have health issues? Are you overweight? At risk for disease?
  • Are you productive, healthy, and happy on seven hours of sleep?
  • Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
  • Do you feel sleepy when driving?

There are several ways to make sure you get enough quality sleep. Here are some that Dr. Mosuro recommends:

  • Stick to your sleep schedule, even on weekends.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Alcohol and caffeine both effect sleep, try scaling back on both.

Make sleep a priority for all the members of your household. Children need almost double the amount of sleep adults need and there really is no way to make it up after you are lacking enough hours. If you’re struggling with getting quality sleep, Dr. Mosuro suggests keeping a record of your sleep and other factors that affect it so you can address them. Quality sleep leads to a quality life.