Sleep is still something of a mystery to even the experts on the subject. The way the human brain behaves while asleep and all the varied physiological benefits of sleep have been studied for years and are still not quite concrete. Getting good sleep is essential for overall good health, which is why it is unfortunate that so many people experience poor sleep on a regular basis. Here’s how to improve the quality of your sleep.
What Counts as Quality Sleep?
The best kind of sleep allows the body to go through the full sleep cycle uninterrupted. The stages of sleep are complex and repeated throughout the process so that the body can repair tissue, digest food, and mentally process the events of the day. Most people require between seven and nine hours of sleep to function at their best. Sleeping too much or too little can have a detrimental effect on your health, which is why making sure to rest each night is so important.
What Can Get in the Way of Good Sleep?
Not everyone finds it easy to get exactly the right amount or quality of sleep. Here are some of the most common reasons why people experience low-quality sleep:
- Being a light sleeper or frequently being disturbed during sleep can mean that your body never fully enters the sleep cycle.
- Oversleeping can also disrupt the healthy stages of a sleep cycle, potentially leading to heart complications and other health issues.
- Not being tired enough at bedtime can make it difficult to unwind at the end of the day, resulting in less sleep.
- Poor mental health and ongoing struggles with your mood can have a severe impact on your sleep. If this is the case for you, consider visiting changefutures.org.au for more information about mental health guidance.
Here is how you can take steps towards improving the quality of your sleep and your health:
- Set the Scene
The surface you sleep on, the temperature of the room, the light levels – every small detail of your surroundings will contribute to how well you sleep. Increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep by creating an environment where sleep is the main focus and priority. Avoid having a TV or other distractions in your bedroom so that you can dedicate the space to rest and relaxation.
- Stick to a Sustainable Routine
It’s fine to occasionally go to bed early and get enough hours of sleep, but it is far more beneficial to find a routine that works for you so you can stick to it. For example, if you are a night owl, adapt your schedule as best you can to work around your high-energy hours.
- Prepare for Bed Properly
What you do before going to bed impacts how well you sleep. Avoid eating, drinking caffeine, or overstimulating your brain before bed. Instead, let yourself slow down in preparation for a restful and high-quality night of sleep.