How Can I Get Enough High-Quality Sleep? Unlocking Restful Nights

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The importance of good quality sleep cannot be denied at any age. To stay in good health it is vital to get high-quality sleep. Often, people cut off their sleep hours to spend more hours at work, with family, or at a party. If it becomes a  regular habit, then it could lead to obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, brain stroke, depression, and even early death. Studies have proven that even one night of short sleep can negatively affect mood and productivity the next day.  

How much sleep do I need?

Different age groups have different sleep requirements. An infant requires twelve to fourteen hours of sleep every twenty-four hours. A teen needs thirteen to eighteen hours of sleep. However, an adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Thus, should make sure that they are getting proper quality sleep. 

What is High-quality sleep?

Sleep efficiency is the ratio between the total time spent asleep in a night as compared to the total amount of time spent in bed. Suppose, as recommended, an adult spends eight hours in bed trying to sleep but then sleeps only for four hours or wakes up every few minutes, the sleep efficiency is 50%. Only when the major time to bed is actually spent sleeping is it considered high-quality Sleep. Efficient sleep leads to sound sleep of high quality and results in better mood and productivity the next day. 

Get Enough High-Quality Sleep

Here are some tips to get enough high-quality sleep:

Consistency is the key

Forming good sleeping habits is important. Train the brain to sleep every night at the same time, and wake up at the same time. This will help in getting consistent with the bedtime schedule. Sleep at the same time even on weekends. If the same schedule is followed for twenty-one days, then it becomes a routine, and the body tends to sleep at the same time. Consistency reinforces a proper sleep-wake cycle. Lie on the bed and try to fall asleep in the next twenty minutes. If it does not happen, leave the bed and do something relaxing till you are tired. Listening to light music or reading a book can help in relaxing.   

Perfect ambiance to sleep

To get proper sleep, the place must be suitable. The room where you sleep should be dark, quiet, relaxing, and have a comfortable temperature. Using fragrant candles or room fresheners can help induce sleep. Lavender or sea-shore-infused candles help in getting good quality sleep as they have a calming effect on the nerves. Fragrance plays with our senses. If we assign a particular smell to sleep, then every time the smell lingers, it will help in fall asleep. A cool, dark, and quiet room is the perfect setting for good quality sleep. The place meant to sleep should be used for the same purpose and not for eating or watching shows. 

Say no to electronic devices

There should be no room for electronic devices in the room. Remove all types of screens from the room. Indulging in screen time before sleeping tires the nerves and prevents you from getting a good night's sleep.

Doing some exercises

Staying physically active throughout the day can help in falling asleep very easily at night. Also following a regular meditation routine or doing some light breathing exercises before going to bed can help with improved sleep quality. Even walking for a few minutes in the open area can help induce good quality sleep. 

Don’t use tobacco or alcohol

Many people are in the habit of smoking or having a few sips of drink every night before sleeping. Initially, it could work, but in the long term, it is a bad habit. It messes up with health and nerves. It leads to anxiety, and then gradually, it affects sleep quality. Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol take hours to wear off. Giving up on tobacco and alcohol will ensure better quality sleep and a relaxed body.

Pay attention to food

Sleeping on an empty stomach or an overstuffed stomach are both bad ideas. Avoiding heavy meals at night is the key to high-quality sleep. Eat a light meal a couple of hours before bedtime to get uninterrupted sleep at night. Also indulging in desserts or caffeinated drinks can cause poor sleep at night. It causes discomfort, and as a result, sleep patterns are affected. It is recommended to stop drinking fluids a couple of hours before sleep. Drinking fluid could cause regular visits to the washroom, and therefore, sleep is disturbed. 

Stay away from stress

Worries have no place in the bedroom. It is important to resolve all issues and worries before sleep. Maintaining a journal can help in this aspect. Once the problem is written in words, finding the solution for dealing with the same gets easier. Stress management can come to the rescue. Decluttering the space and mind can help in better quality sleep. Massaging before sleep can also help with sound sleep. 

Read More: What are the symptoms of irritable bladder?

Conclusion

Only sleeping for the suggested number of hours does not suffice, but getting high-quality sleep is vital. It is only after a high-quality sleep that one is rejuvenated. Feeling sleepy or tired even after getting enough sleep is a sign that there is a problem. Waking up in the middle of sleep or snoring or even gasping for air shows that there is some underlying health issue. Better sleep habits will gradually lead to high-quality sleep. Even after following the routine one does not get high-quality sleep consulting a professional is crucial. At times, due to nutritional deficiency or another underlying health issue, the sleep quality is compromised. Therefore, listen to your body and consult an expert. 

References

Bruce ES, Lunt L, McDonagh JE. Sleep in adolescents and young adults. Clin Med (Lond). 2017;17(5):424–428. Crossref Google Scholar

Lim, J. & Dinges, D. F. A meta-analysis of the impact of short-term sleep deprivation on cognitive variables. Psychol. Bull. 136, 375–389 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1037%2Fa0018883

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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