You need to get your full eight hours of sleep to be well. But this is more than just counting the number of hours that you spend in bed. You need your full complement of quality sleep if you want to be healthy and wake up refreshed. To be ready to take on each new day, you need to make sure that you understand and respect your body’s natural cycle, and that you prepare a proper place for sleeping. Quality sleep can mean the difference between getting true rest and just going to bed for the sake of satisfying your nagging conscience.
How Do I Get Quality Sleep?
First, you need to make sure that you have enough time set aside for sleep, and that this your sleep does not get disrupted. You have what’s called a circadian rhythm, which is more commonly known as your body clock. It’s more that just that instinct that tells you when you’re sleepy and when it’s time to wake up. It’s a complex body rhythm that has a greater impact on your overall well-being than you may think.
Your internal body clock is a system that is, on the surface, responsible for regulating your feelings of sleepiness to tell you when you need to rest and when you are good to go. It sends signals to your brain, which interprets them according to ambient light levels. When we ignore these signals to rest, for instance, it creates tension with our bodies’ natural needs. When we don’t give our bodies what they need, this makes them feel stressed. They can’t really fight back, and so they work overtime to try to make up for the lack of quality sleep. Sometimes, they just can’t scrape together enough to function well. When this happens, you start to experience decreased energy and increased health problems. These problems can last for much longer than a few hours - the quality sleep that you gave up - and affect you much more. Quality sleep is important.
Evaluate Your Lifestyle
Can you honestly say that you keep a regular sleeping schedule? Do you have a regular exercise routine?
It’s very important that you at least try to go to bed and wake up at more or less the same time each day. It’s also very important that you have some kind of physical activity going on, even if all that you can manage is daily exercises that you can do at your office station.
When you get out of bed, go and get some sun to help your body recognise that it’s time to get active. The sun sends a clear and strong natural signal that sleep time is over. The result of this is a boost of energy to start your day, and also a reset for your circadian rhythm that will help you get sleepy at the right time that night.
When you get ready to go to sleep, try as much as possible not to use electronic devices. These devices, such as mobile phones and televisions, produce waves that are known to disrupt sleep. Read instead - preferably outside your bedroom - or listen to music that is played from a device placed at least 3 metres away from your bed. You can also try developing other habits to get quality sleep like taking a hot bath, drinking warm milk, or doing something else that relaxes you.
Evaluate Your Sleeping Space
Is your bedroom conducive to quality sleep? Is it dark and quiet enough to keep you from getting distracted?
Sights and sounds can keep you awake and prevent you from getting quality sleep. They are the worst enemies of a good night’s sleep. Even leading up to when it’s time to actually fall asleep, you need to set the scene.
A room that’s too bright before sleep can prevent you from growing sleepy. Change to softer lighting in your room by using a dimmer switch or adding a lamp that you can switch to a couple of hours before your regular sleep time. Remember, it’s important to keep this regular, so make it a habit. If your bedroom has windows and there are lights outside, or others in the room are still using the lights, put on an eye mask to block out the light.
Turn off all your electronic devices at the same time that you dim the lights. They also give off light, but more importantly, these and other electronic devices radiate energy waves that can disrupt sleep.
Control the noise level in your sleeping space. You may not be able to do a lot if you live in the middle of a busy city. But you can try some remedies, such as using a nice pair of earplugs. A white noise machine is also a good investment if it helps you get quality sleep.
Relax before bedtime with whatever rituals you need to get your stress levels down. Stress is a top culprit when it comes to preventing quality sleep. Make sure that your sleeping space is comfortable, too. It would be fruitless to have relaxation time if your bed itself causes you stress.
A properly weighted blanket is a big help in promoting quality sleep. You should feel comfortable when you get into bed, and not be too hot or cold during sleep. Get good pillows and keep your bedding clean. The best pillow to use is one that holds your head snugly while supporting your neck and shoulders. A lot of sleep problems are caused by discomfort in these parts that cause poor circulation and muscle strain. This goes a long way to helping lull you into a deep sleep.
For instance, the bamboo pillow that we offer is flexible so that you can create the perfect resting nook to cradle your head and support the curves of your neck and shoulders. With the contour you need, the rest of your body can relax as well. This reduces fatigue and general strain so you can get quality sleep. The pillow also has a removable, washable bamboo pillow cover. The pillow is hypoallergenic, along with many other health benefits for quality sleep.