Waking up full of energy, fresh, and ready to start a new day means that you’ve had a good night’s sleep. Getting enough quality sleep has a positive impact both on your physical and mental health. Namely, sleep can improve memory, reflexes, judgment, decision-making, learning, and mood.
However, not getting enough quality sleep can negatively affect your health and put you at a greater risk of suffering from diabetes, depression, poor immune system, obesity, heart attack, and stroke.
Unfortunately, statistics show that one-third of Americans don’t get the recommended amount of sleep, seven to eight hours a night. Plus, when you also consider the quality of sleep, the thing becomes even more complicated because poor sleep quality has the same impact on health as sleep quantity.
Quantity of Sleep
The truth is, although you may sleep for ten hours a night if your sleep is of poor-quality and fragmented it means that you are still not getting enough sleep when compared to seven to eight hours restorative sleep.
Luckily, there are certain things you can do to improve your sleep including the following:
- Follow a relaxing bedtime routine;
- Avoid consuming heavy food and caffeine several hours before bedtime;
- Ensure the room temperature and lighting are adequate for sleep;
- Try to limit technology time before going to bed.
In general, the majority of the adult population needs between seven and nine hours of sleep whereas younger adults aged from 18 to 25 may require only six hours of sleep a night, of course, if it is of good quality. However, every person is different and the hours of sleep needed may vary from person to person. The above mentioned required hours are only statistics.
Quality of Sleep
By now, you must have understood clearly that good quality of sleep is important. But, how to tell whether your sleep is of good or poor quality. Here’s a list of some common indicators of a good night’s sleep:
- It takes you a maximum of half an hour to fall asleep;
- You are asleep for a minimum of 85% of the total time you spend in bed;
- Not waking up at all, or once a night.
If all of the above-mentioned indicators apply to you, it means that you are getting a good quality sleep which positively impacts your overall health and well-being. Yet, if you’ve concluded that your sleep is of poor quality, here are some ways that can help you improve your sleep quality:
- Avoid using technology for at least half an hour before going to bed;
- Stick to a strict sleep schedule and go to bed and wake up the same time every day, even at the weekends;
- Make sure your bedroom temperature isn’t below 60 and more than 67 degrees F;
- Limit your caffeine consumption to six hours before bedtime;
- Limit your alcohol consumption to three hours before bedtime;
- Follow a relaxing routine before going to bed like reading or taking a bath.
The Perfect Combination of Quantity and Quality of Sleep
The bottom line, we can conclude that both quantity and quality of sleep are important and vital for having optimal overall health. Therefore, try the tips listed above for both improving quality and quantity of sleep (some overlap as you can see) to ensure you get a good night’s sleep.