Are you getting enough sleep, I mean proper sleep? The reality is for most adults the answer is no and this is a problem!

Hi, I’m Dr. Andrew Arnold, and today I want to talk about how poor sleep could lead to mental health issues.

Poor sleep can lead to mental health problems, injuries at work and socially, low productivity, increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, stroke, and even death.

Around a third of the population report less than 7 hrs per night most with wakefulness disorders, and more prevalent in females.

Chiropractors and other Health-care providers need to address this in their practices, possibly using sleep assessment tools, sleep posture advice, mattress and pillow recommendations and maybe referrals to sleep, experts.

It follows long term sleep deprivation can lead to sleep-disordered breathing, insomnia, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, parasomnias, sleep-related psychiatric disorders, sleep-related neurological disorders, sleep-related medical disorders, and circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

So, let’s look at why adults are struggling with their sleep patterns and some solutions:

  1. It’s no surprise over-using tech devices is a major factor. Not only are they incredibly distracting they also expose your eyes to too much electromagnetic radiation, in particular, but the blue light spectrum and this can also directly negatively impact the back lining of your eyes.

More specifically, blue light increases the risk of retinal damage and this can be permanent. Blue light also depletes the hormone, melatonin which is necessary for healthy circadian rhythms. These rhythms help your brain recognize night and day.

Try using Blue light filter glasses or screens. Software such as ‘flux’ or built-in filters is also very useful.

  1. Exercising just before bed. This increases blood pressure, heart rate and adrenalin which are all non-conducive to sleep.
  2. Working late. Avoid checking emails or staying up too late to work. This potentially creates open-ended conversations and work which can’t be taken care of until the following day.
  3. Too much TV before bed. TV emits EMR not to mention the content of what you’re watching.
  4. Eating a large meal just before bed. Whilst eating encourages your parasympathetic nervous system to engage which is also needed for sleep, a full stomach can be physically uncomfortable and digestion to some degree does require gravity.
  5. Erratic going to bedtimes. Try and go to be at the same time every night. This helps create healthy sleeping habits.
  6. Not enough wind-down time. We’re all busy and usually don’t take the time to rest and relax before bed. Try meditating, a warm bath, hot drink, calm music etc. at least 1 hour prior to bed.
  7. Avoid stimulants such as coffee or chai after 4 pm. Too much coffee tends to cause our adrenals to over-work leading to adrenal exhaustion and over-tiredness.

The table below outlines good sleep guidelines for all ages courtesy of the National Sleep Foundation.

 About the Author:

Dr. Andrew Arnold is a Chiropractor and the Million Dollar Wellness Mentor.

Founder: Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre and Million Dollar Wellness.

Andrew is married to Dr. Linda Wilson, the Stress Specialist and has two children, Isaac and Bella. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Age Recommended May be appropriate Not recommended

0-3 months


14 to 17 hours 11 to 13 hours

18 to 19 hours

Less than 11 hours

More than 19 hours


4-11 months


12 to 15 hours 10 to 11 hours

16 to 18 hours

Less than 10 hours

More than 18 hours


1-2 years


11 to 14 hours 9 to 10 hours

15 to 16 hours

Less than 9 hours

More than 16 hours


3-5 years


10 to 13 hours 8 to 9 hours

14 hours

Less than 8 hours

More than 14 hours

School-aged Children

6-13 years


9 to 11 hours 7 to 8 hours

12 hours

Less than 7 hours

More than 12 hours


14-17 years


8 to 10 hours 7 hours

11 hours

Less than 7 hours

More than 11 hours

Young Adults

18-25 years


7 to 9 hours 6 hours

10 to 11 hours

Less than 6 hours

More than 11 hours


26-64 years


7 to 9 hours 6 hours

10 hours

Less than 6 hours

More than 10 hours

Older Adults

≥ 65 years


7 to 8 hours 5 to 6 hours

9 hours

Less than 5 hours

More than 9 hours


Category: Stress Management

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