Khok: Sweet sleep

Sweet thing this sleep, sweet thing. And sleep restores mind, body and soul. Not bad for a daily act that only requires a darkened room and silence.

Sleep is one of the building blocks that help our immune system become strong.

Last week, we mentioned some things that help our immune system: healthy diet (more details next time), exercise and hydration. Today, let’s look at sleep because I have noticed some people get little of it, preferring to binge on Netflix lures, working extra on online businesses or clicking away with role-playing game tournaments.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH) said that continued deficient sleep can raise your risk for some chronic diseases such as heart or kidney disease, diabetes and stroke. It affects your total well-being. And your “immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy.”

Based on notes from,, health.harvard and wholisticmatter, sleep time varies.

HOW MUCH. It is during sleep that important infection-fighting molecules are created. So how much sleep do we need? According to our sources, newborn babies up to three months need 14 to 17 hours including naps. This is also a good time for mothers to get some rest!

Infants from four to 12 months need 12 to 16 hours of sleep. Toddlers from a year-old up to two years of age require 11 to 14 hours of snooze. Pre-schoolers from three to five years of age need 10 to 13 hours of sleep. School age children between six and 12 in age can function well with nine to 12 hours of shut-eye.

Adolescents 13 to 18 years old must chalk up eight to 10 hours of sleep. Adults 19 to 60, can get by with seven or more hours of sleep. From 61 years and above, sleeping time varies from seven to nine hours.

SIGNS. So it’s true that seven to eight hours of sleep is a good rule of thumb. According to, there are signs of sleep deprivation from the obvious sleepiness and daytime fatigue, to irritability and frequent yawning to alarming ones such as depression and anxiety.

READ. Sleep deprivation is serious. It affects the body, mind and emotions. I want you to open the highly readable paper on sleep deprivation at to get a personal wake-up call, no pun intended.

FOOD. and talk about food that help sleeping. Milk is the classic sleep aid because it is high in melatonin, a hormone that the human brain creates in response to darkness. Fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines), nuts, rice, oats and red grapes all support a good night’s rest. (More next week.)