Not all sleeping experiences are the same. Sometimes, we fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on a brand new day, while at other times, we wake up feeling like we never got to rest at all. If you feel that these scenarios are familiar to you, then it’s time to pay more attention to the quality of your sleep.
Having poor sleep quality over a long period of time can be detrimental to your health. It can also affect your mood and concentration, which will impact your career and relationships. Sleeping well, on the other hand, will contribute to your speed of learning, improve your memory, and strengthen your immunity against common illnesses.
Characteristics Of A Good Sleep
Sleep enables the body to recharge and heal itself from the day’s activities. The hormones that help your nerves and muscles relax are produced by your body in more quantities when you sleep.
At the same time, hormones that cause stress and tension are controlled and decreased. Your brain also takes this time to sort and store your memories of the past few hours so you will not be muddled when you absorb new information the next day.
With all these important functions happening in your body during sleep, it is therefore also crucial for you to get enough quality sleep that your body needs for it to perform well. The first sign of good, quality sleep is the length of time. The recommended sleeping duration for adults is between 7 to 9 hours, while for children and teens would be 8 to 10 hours.
Uninterrupted sleep is another indication. If you keep waking up during the night for various reasons, your body loses the opportunity to do what it needs to do. Timing and routine are also important. Your body learns to adjust to your schedule, and keeping within this schedule allows your body to prepare itself for the tasks ahead.
How To Ensure A Good Sleep
Taking care of your health and well-being includes ensuring that you get enough good quality sleep every day. This can sometimes be challenging because of our busy schedules. But there are certain steps you can take to give yourself a better chance of sleeping soundly.
Stay free of clutter
Keep your bedroom dim, cool, and free of clutter. The ambiance and environment you sleep in contribute a lot to the quality of your sleep. Block out other sources of light by covering your windows with curtains and by using night lamps instead of ceiling lights. Cool and open spaces also lead your body and mind to relax, which conditions it to a sleeping state.
Control the sounds around you
Control the sounds you hear by either closing the windows to shut out the noise, or playing ambient music to drown out other possible distractions from outside your room. The fewer distractions you have, the faster you can fall asleep.
Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake
Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake during the day, especially when getting closer to your bedtime. Caffeine affects your nervous system and forces your body to stay alert, thus making it difficult to relax and fall asleep even when you want to. Alcohol can also decrease the quality of your sleep because of its ability to affect your nervous system.
Find the bedtime routine that works for you
Taking a quick shower, limiting work-related activities, and doing a few simple exercises can all condition your body into the state of relaxation that it needs to fall asleep. These activities help clear your mind of thoughts that may keep it busy, which prevents it from entering a sleeping state.
Create a comfortable atmosphere
Make your body comfortable by using the right bedding and pillows for your needs and lifestyle. Find out if you have allergies to certain fabrics and avoid using these so that your allergies will not get triggered at night and keep you awake. If you are overweight, choose the best mattresses for heavy people so they can properly support your body as you rest.
Try not to nap during the day. People are creatures of habit. Daytime naps can break the rhythm of your body, making it hard to go back to a routine when it comes to your bedtime hours. Keep a consistent sleeping schedule so your body knows what it should be when it comes to certain times of the day.
Avoid eating too much at night
Do not eat too much at night, whether during dinner or for a midnight snack. Getting your stomach full before bedtime can affect your body’s rhythm as it will be forced to work in order to digest all the food instead of relaxing which it needs to do so you can sleep.
Limit your drinking at night
Drinking water, juice, or other types of liquid can disrupt your sleep as your body may wake you up in the middle of the night for a much-needed toilet break. Try to keep yourself from drinking a lot before going to bed, and make sure to make a final trip to the toilet before lying down on your bed.
Try to wind down at night
If you have been through a particularly stressful day, you may find it extra difficult to sleep at night. You first need to unwind and get your mind off the activities of the past few hours. An overstimulated brain will have a hard time falling asleep. In situations like these, look for activities that can help you relax such as simple yoga stretches, meditation exercises, or maybe listening to an audiobook for a while can help condition your body primed for sleeping.