By improving your sleep quality, not only will you sleep better at night, you’ll feel much more refreshed and alert right throughout the day.
You see, how sleepy or alert you feel depends on two factors:
- How long you slept – Ensuring you get your recommended hours of sleep
- The quality of your sleep – Making sure you get plenty of deep sleep
So your sleep quality is just as important as the number of hours of sleep you get each night. If you have poor sleep quality, no matter how long you sleep, you’ll still feel sleepy. You need both the right quantity and quality of sleep to become truly refreshing.
Here are 10 ways to improve your sleep quality:
1. Check the side effects of any medication you’re taking
Some forms of medication affect sleep quality. If you’re taking any medication, check the side effects listed on the box or the slip of paper that came with it. See if insomnia is listed as a potential side effect.
If it is listed, make an appointment to see your doctor. Alternative medication will often be available. But don’t suddenly stop taking it, see your doctor first.
2. Sleep in a comfortable bed
A comfortable mattress and pillow are essential for good sleep quality. If they’re not up to standard, you increase your chances of waking up in the night with painful joints or a stiff neck. Waking up multiple times in the night will cause your sleep quality to plummet.
Bedding isn’t designed to last forever. You don’t need to spend lots of money getting a comfortable bed. Online retailers such as Amazon sell a range of high-quality cheap bedding that’s vacuum packed to save on costs. Take a look at the bedding reviews for my top picks for a variety of different price ranges.
3. Watch what you’re drinking
Sleep quality is much better when sleep is uninterrupted. If you have to wake up in the night to go to the toilet, your sleep quality will be reduced.
Avoid caffeine. Besides the stimulating effect it has on the body, it’s a diuretic. This means you’ll need to go to the toilet more after drinking it.
Avoid alcohol before bed too. It’s also a diuretic. More importantly, it’s been scientifically proven to cause your body to spend less time in deep sleep. So the more alcohol you take before bed, the less your sleep quality will become.
4. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible
Darkness promotes the production of melatonin. It’s a hormone used by your body clock to help you fall asleep and stay in a nice deep sleep all night.
The morning sun can stop the production of melatonin, causing you to wake up too early. Even the light coming into your room from streetlights or the moon can affect your sleep.
Get some good heavy curtains that don’t let any light in, or line your existing ones with a special material designed to block out the light. Eye masks can be useful when you’re sleeping away from home or if you’re particularly sensitive to light.
5. Use aromatherapy
Using aromatherapy is one of the easiest ways to boost your sleep quality. It’s been scientifically proven that lavender and jasmine oils make you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper.
Ultrasonic diffusers make it easy to fragrance the room with essential oils. You just fill the device with water, add a few drops of essential oil, set the timer and you’re done. Unlike traditional aromatherapy diffusers, they generate no heat and are safe to use whilst you’re sleeping.
6. Sleep in a cool bedroom
There’s a strong link between body temperature and alertness. Your body temperature needs to fall to its lowest to allow your body to enter the deepest stages of sleep. Sleeping in a cool bedroom enables you to lose body heat easily and quickly fall into a nice deep sleep.
The traditional advice is to keep warm in a cool environment. Not too warm that your body can’t easily lose body heat, but not too cold so that it’s uncomfortable to sleep.
Pile up the bed sheets in the winter, but make sure you’re able to strip them off later. Having lots of bed sheets is nice when you first go to bed but your body will quickly warm up and become too hot to fall asleep.
In the summer it can be much harder to lose body heat and sleep often suffers as a result. For some tips on how to stay cool during those hot summer nights, take a look at the too hot to sleep article.
7. Go to bed anxiety free
Anxiety and depression has been shown to reduce sleep quality. If you go to bed feeling anxious or depressed, you’ll spend much more time in the lighter stages of sleep and less in the deeper stages. You’re also much more likely to wake up in the night.
If you’re prone to getting into bed and experiencing all those anxious thoughts, learning how to relaxbefore you get into bed will greatly improve your sleep quality. If you’re depressed, getting help for depression will also help you sleep better.
8. Go to bed feeling sleepy
People who force themselves to fall asleep have bad sleep quality. If you go to bed when you’re not sleepy, you’re less likely to enter into the deeper stages of sleep and much more likely to wake up later in the night and not be able to fall back to sleep.
Having a good sleep schedule is the best way to ensure you go to bed feeling sleepy. Waking up at the same time each day, avoiding napping during the day and taking regular exercise will help ensure you go to bed feeling sleepy.
9. Block out distracting sounds
Distracting sounds will impact your sleep. Sometimes you won’t even know that it was a sound that woke you up. Sounds from birds, people in your house who wake up earlier than you, or the slamming of car doors, can all disturb your sleep
Playing white noise in your bedroom is a very effective way of blocking out the sound. White noise is a type of static noise that’s created by combining together all the different sound frequencies. It’s a sound many people find very relaxing.
Getting some good comfortable earplugs specially designed for sleeping is another option. There’s a range of different types available. They all vary in effectiveness and comfort. See my ear plug reviewsfor the pros and cons of each different type of earplug.
10. Avoid sleeping pills
While sleeping pills may help you fall asleep quicker, they are well known to reduce sleep quality. The sleep you get from sleeping pills is far less effective than natural sleep.
The combination of poor sleep quality and the hangover effect from sleeping pills makes you feel as if you’ve hardly slept at all that night. In addition, they come with a whole host of other nasty side effects. Always stick to natural sleep aids.
Source from: Sleep Habits, by