Most people realize that getting a good night’s sleep is important; however, many adults struggle with falling asleep and getting restful sleep. It’s not always the amount of time you sleep each night that helps you feel refreshed when you wake up. The quality of sleep you get is often what makes the biggest difference.
What is good sleep?
The sleep cycle is important if you want to understand the meaning of a good night’s sleep. The body goes through stages during sleep, and if you wake during certain stages, you can feel groggy and tired. Sleep studies show that your body needs to reach deep sleep, known as REM, to help you wake up feeling rested. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep, but some people function better with more or with less. Not reaching REM, even if you sleep 10-11 hours each night, can leave you feeling tired when you wake up.
How to get better sleep
The environment you sleep in is important. Consider the temperature, lighting and sound in your bedroom. If you live in a city or noisy area, you can use a white noise machine or a fan to diminish outside noises if they bother you. Room darkening shades can also be helpful to reduce disruptive lighting. Create a constant bedtime routine and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to get your body in a sleep rhythm.
Gauging your sleep quality
Sleep experts have a few basic criteria that determine sleep quality. Falling asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed and not waking more than once per night are two signs of a good night’s sleep. Another thing to consider is how much you’re awake while in bed throughout the night. Studies show that you should be asleep for at least 85% of the time you’re in bed and shouldn’t be awake for more than 20 minutes after you fall asleep initially to indicate that you slept well throughout the night.
Sleep can impact your mental and physical health. Not being well-rested can cause you to lack motivation during the day for getting things done and can lead to brain fog. If you want to sleep better, keep track of your sleep habits, so you can find ways in which to improve your routine.