How do you know if you’re getting good sleep?
It’s no secret that sleep is one of the most important components of a person’s physical and mental health. However, few people realize that the quality of sleep is no less important than its longevity. According to numerous studies, the state of the skin, digestive system, and even the immune system, depend on good night sleep.
Our sleep is controlled by certain neurons of the brain, which can block signals from other neurons that make us awake. Therefore, sleep is a very complex process that affects the functioning of the entire body, including physical and mental aspects. ”Sleep hygiene” is a set of rules for good sleep, and we suggest you read them to find out how to sleep better.
4 Factors that affect good sleep
Sleep hygiene depends on certain determinants responsible for a good night sleep. Most of them depend on a person and can be changed to attain healthy sleep habits. According to WebMD, there are four main factors:
- Biological rhythm – this is the 24 hour cycle also known as the circadian rhythm. The secret of good and deep sleep lies in how stable this rhythm is. It also determines the quality of sleep. Our biological rhythm depends on a number of personal habits such as daytime naps, physical exercise or lack of, the time we go to bed, traveling (especially when we experience jet lag symptoms), etc. Try to make your biological rhythm more consistent to make sure you have good sleep.
- Psychological stressors – they are individual for every person. It can be a deadline at work or an exam at school, in other words, anything that leads to restful nights or sleep deprivation. Moreover, even after a hard day, a person may find they can’t stop analyzing things right before the bedtime. Isn’t it a familiar situation when you are dying for a good night sleep but instead you are making plans for the next day or trying to cope with the stressors of this day? Even being aware of good sleep benefits, you can hardly make yourself sleep. So, psychological factors are crucial for sane and deep sleep.
- Age – this is the factor one would like to avoid and never think of. But the truth of life is that age and ”sleep hygiene” are closely connected. After the age of 40, a person’s sleep pattern changes. In some cases, it is regulated by our habits like eating a heavy dinner or drinking alcohol before bedtime, in others good sleep depends on overall body health. While it can be difficult to change the last, we still can adjust our bad habits to healthy sleep habits.
- Social drugs – they include alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. Alcohol, which seems to cause a sedative effect, at the same time leads to troubled sleep and not restful nights. People who drink alcoholic drinks before bedtime experience night awakening that can last up to 3 hours. As a result, it is more likely a person will wake up in the morning with a headache or in a bad mood. Logically, drinking alcohol at night is not a proper way to sleep. As for caffeine, it stays in your body for up to 14 hours and the more cups of coffee during the day you drink, the more trouble sleeping you may have. Bad nights then can result in decreased performance during the day. If you can’t stop drinking tea or coffee, better have them in the first part of the day and opt for herbal teas at night that work as natural sleep remedies. Nicotine has nearly the same effect as caffeine. It causes a sedative effect when taken in small amount while it makes a person very anxious when taken in large doses. All in all, these three social drugs may result in serious sleep hindrances and sleep deprivation, which leads to low performance, efficiency and restlessness.
7 Sleeping tips to help you have better sleep
Make your bedroom snug, let it be your shelter where you can hide from day troubles. Keep it in order and buy linen with beautiful prints that cause positive emotions. Watch the temperature in the bedroom, it should be comfortable, since it is impossible to get a good night sleep in a room that’s too warm or too cold.
You cannot rest properly if you feel uncomfortable: bulging springs, excessive stiffness, etc. All that leads to restful nights. If you noticed that on another bed you have a good and deep sleep, then you should change your mattress.
Do not eat before bedtime
Monitor your diet before bedtime; try not to eat for two hours before going to bed yet not to fall asleep with a growling stomach. At night, the digestion slows down considerably, and the heaviness in the stomach may cause sleep deprivation. Also, make sure that the food you eat in the evening is not heavy.
Avoid bright light in the evening
In the evening, reduce the illumination in your home, let the body gradually adjust to rest and night sleep. Leave on only soft lights. In this an environment, the body begins to produce relaxation hormones, which will help to fall asleep more easily. And when you go to bed, turn off all the lights, let the room be as dark as possible to provide you with good sleep.
Think of rituals that may be your answer to how to sleep better. It may be calm music, reading a book, meditation practice, walking a dog before bedtime, etc. It should be something that makes you calm down and prepared for good sleep.
Regular physical activity
A sedentary lifestyle can significantly reduce the quality of sleep and cause sleep deprivation. Sleep is genetically inherent in the body as a need for restoring the energy. If the energy was not wasted, then the body does not want to sleep. One of the healthy sleep habits is to walk before going to bed for at least half an hour.
Consult a doctor
Sleep deprivation may be a symptom of a more serious health condition. If natural sleep remedies do not work, if the sleep problems are chronic and all your efforts to have a good night sleep go down the drain, be sure to consult your doctor. Perhaps, they will advise you more effective measures, such as the course of physiotherapy.
No matter what techniques of how to sleep better you try, the main thing is to have a good night sleep! A healthy sleep is a pledge of high working capacity, strong immunity, and a long life.