Waking Nights: The 4 Things That Will Impact Your Sleep Quality

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It appears that pretty much everyone nowadays has a problem with their sleep. Either we can’t get enough of it because we don’t have the time, or we are able to get to bed at a good time, but we are unable to fall asleep, and we end up tossing and turning throughout the whole night, waking up to see every hour on the clock. We feel compelled to burn the candle at both ends, in work and in life, because we think this will keep us ahead of the game. In fact, it’s very much the opposite, if you slept 6 hours a night for two weeks instead of the recommended 8, the sleep deprivation would be the same as going 48 hours without sleep! We see people being prescribed sleeping pills, waking pills, and everything in between! But is there a simpler key to feeling rested? Here are some of the big things that impact us having a quality sleep.

Our Smartphones

This is the best place to start, the amount of information that has shown the negative impact of smartphones and tablets on our quality of sleep pops up everywhere, yet we still choose to have a quick gander at our social media just before we turn in for the night. Here is the main point to take away, the blue light emitted from, not just your smartphone or your tablet, but also any electrical devices (like your television and computers), will interrupt your body’s ability to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. While you may have slept the adequate amount of sleep your body needs, you won’t feel as rested because the melatonin hormone has been interrupted, resulting in a lack of deep sleep. The solution? Remove all forms of lights from your bedroom! It’s that simple. Install blackout blinds, wear an eye mask, anything to remove the light from your room. If you really need to look at your smartphone before you go to sleep, install a blue light filter to eliminate the harsh tones of the screen, and so it’s, therefore, easier on your eyes.

Our Bed

We all know how bad it can be if the bed we sleep in is lumpy and uncomfortable, we just can’t get relaxed enough to have a decent quality sleep. You know how bad you feel when you accidentally fall asleep on the couch and stay there all night? I’s a very similar thing. There are many factors to a great night’s sleep in our bed, the size of the bed, the comfiness, the pillow, and, of course, the temperature. If we have the wrong pillow, we will wake up with a stiff neck, so make sure that your pillow is the right size and supports the natural curve of your neck when you are sleeping on your back. The right mattress is integral to a great night’s sleep. A very popular type of mattress is one with memory foam, and these have numerous advantages, but there are also other types of mattresses like innerspring, natural latex, and even waterbeds. You can check out this site for mattress reviews to give you a better idea of what suits you. You should also think about sealing your mattress, especially if you are prone to allergies. If you have an old mattress, it can fill up with dust mite droppings and mold over time. It’s a given, if we don’t have a good quality bed, we won’t get a good quality sleep.

Stress And Anxiety

Have you found yourself not being able to sleep because you are worried about something? You are not alone, but there are things you can do to help ease your worries before going to sleep so you can have adequate rest to deal with the challenges in the morning. One of the most effective things to do is a “brain dump,” where you write down all of your anxieties and thoughts onto paper, fold the paper up, and simply put it to one side. This will stop you going over things in your mind so much. It’s a great way to declutter your mind before bedtime. Another way to reduce stress and anxiety is to start taking up a positive practice before bedtime, such as mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, anything to get you into a relaxed state. One common method that has been popular is the 4, 7, 8 method. This is a deep breathing exercise where you inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. You do this until you feel yourself drifting off. The important thing is to focus on the breath, and not your thoughts. The other effective way to deal with stress and anxiety is not just before bedtime, but by working at de-stressing yourself every day. So you can try these techniques at any time of day. Box breathing is another type of breathing technique that is actually used by Navy Seals, where you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold it for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and then rest without air in your lungs for another 4 seconds. And you can do this for as long as you want until you calm down.

Our Health

Put very simply, if you’re not healthy, you won’t be resting at the optimum level. So this means having, not just a healthy diet, with well-timed stimulants (in other words, no caffeine after midday), but also exercising on a regular basis. The importance of working out isn’t just great for our bodies, but it also will help us to fall asleep and improve our sleep quality. If you get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, you will see the benefits in your sleep. The best type of exercise is moderate to vigorous exercise, from the standard cardio, all the way through to exercises like yoga. One of the key factors in this may be the intake of oxygen, as you will naturally breathe heavier during a workout, which will trigger relaxation responses.

There are other factors, from the temperature of your room to your sleep cycles, but if you can tackle these four issues, you will see a drastic improvement in your overall quality of sleep, and therefore your quality of life.