Sleep Health: Quality VS. Quantity

It is no surprise that sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to your health. While you may be getting the recommended amount of sleep each night (7-9 hours for adults) it doesn't mean that you are getting the best quality of sleep.

High quality sleep is critical for your body, which means you may 'sleep' for 8 hours a night, but those 8 hours may not be restful. For example, you may not reach a REM state of sleep, you may wake up often, you may toss and turn; so although you 'slept' for 8 hours, your body did not get the rest it requires.

This is why many adults wake up feeling even more exhausted than before they went to sleep. In order for your body to fully rest and repair overnight, focusing on the quality of your sleep instead of the amount you sleep. Here are some tips to help boost your sleep quality.

1) Make It Dark Even the smallest trace of light can ruin our sleep. Try using an eye mask, blackout curtains, and leaving your devices in another room. These little changes can make your room darker and more peaceful.

2) No Screens

I know this is one of the most talked-about tips when it comes to sleep, but for a good reason. Your devices emit blue light, signaling your brain to stay awake. At least one hour before bed, put away your devices. Need some ideas on how to unwind? Reading, meditation, a bath, making a to-do list, journaling are all non-screen activities that can help you wind down for the night.

3) Snack Attacks Going to bed on a full stomach is not a good idea for a restful night's sleep. Try eating your last meal at least 2-3 hours before you head to bed, this will help aid in digestion and prevent any discomfort you may feel.

4) Night Caps You may have heard a nightly glass of vino is one of the oldest tricks in the book to get yourself to fall asleep, and you are right. Unfortunately, alcohol may put you to sleep but it inhibits the production of your REM cycle. So, that nightly glass of wine is actually hurting your sleep cycle. If you need something to sip on before bed, try an herbal tea, like chamomile that promotes relaxation.

5) Your Bed Is For Sleeping

It may be tempting to watch TV, so work, scroll social media from the comfort of your bed, but all these activities are telling your brain that your bed is for anything best rest. Try keeping your bed from resting and any other activities should be down elsewhere. That being said, make sure you go to bed when you are tired not when you are awake and trying to fall asleep. It helps your brain associate your bed as a place to sleep and thing else.

The key is to focus on quality sleep over how much you are sleeping. But getting a good night of rest, you will feel better, more rested, and ready to take on your day!

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Online Fitness, Yoga, Mind and Wellness Coach