Understanding sleep guidelines to help customers sleep better

As a pharmacist, it is not all regularly having customers coming to see you to help cure their insomnia. In order to understand how to provide the best advice, you must understand how to assess their needs and symptoms to tailor the solutions for their situation.

How many hours should an individual be getting

The US National Sleep Foundation has updated their guidelines on how much sleep people need at each age. The guidelines, which feature minimum and maximum ranges for health as “recommended” window, identify the rule-of-thumb amounts.

However, people should still determine their own individual needs by paying attention to how they feel on different amounts of sleep. To assess how much sleep a person needs, it’s essential to examine what lifestyle factors may affect the quality and the quantity of their sleep as well as where they fall on the sleep needs spectrum.

The recommended hours of sleep needed per day for the average individual are:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours

  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours

  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours

  • Pre-schoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours

  • School age children (6-13): 10-11 hours

  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours

  • Young adults (18-25): 7-9 hours

  • Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours

  • Older adults (65+): 7-9 hours


What can be done to help ease sleeplessness?

Here are some tips to suggest to customers to help them get the sleep they need:

  • Make sleep a priority

  • Say no to coffee after noon

  • Avoid vigorous exercise before bedtime

  • Cut down on alcohol intake in the evening

  • Unwind when you a get home

  • Avoid your mobile, laptop, and other gadgets that produce blue wavelengths that suppress the production of melatonin

  • Try meditating

If none of these do the trick and there does not appear to be any underlying medical cause of insomnia, customers may need additional advice. However, if the problem continues, customers should consult their GP.

Adam Shakespeare