Today is World Sleep Day, so we of course we are discussing what you should know to assess your sleep quality.
Sometimes, the pace of modern life barely gives you time to stop and rest. It can make getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis seem like a dream.
But, sleep is as important for good health as diet and exercise. Good sleep improves your brain performance, mood, and health.
Not getting enough quality sleep regularly raises the risk of many diseases and disorders. These range from heart disease and stroke to obesity and dementia.
Having a healthy sleeping schedule encompasses three factors. Check out our most recent Community Health Corner to see the segment.
Factors of a Healthy Sleep Schedule
The first factor is how much sleep you get.
One of the largest misconceptions surrounding sleep is that adults need less sleep as they get older. This is not true.
Older adults need the same amount of sleep as younger adults, but typically, sleep quality gets worse as you age.
Generally, adults should aim to get around 8 hours of sleep every night. See the chart below that contains recommended hours of sleep by age.
Another factor to consider is the quality of sleep that you are getting. The goal is to get uninterrupted and refreshing sleep.
You might be getting enough hours, but that does not necessarily mean that you are getting the most restful type of sleep.
One common sleep myth is that you can “catch up” on your days off. Researchers are finding that this largely isn’t the case.
If, for instance, you have one bad night’s sleep and take a nap the next day, or sleep slightly longer the next night, there is benefit to that.
But, if you have a week’s worth of getting too little sleep, the weekend alone is not enough for
The last factor to having a healthy relationship with sleep is having a consistent sleep schedule. You want to try to sleep during the same hours of the day for you to feel the best.
Poor sleep quality is characterized by a few potential factors.
Characterizing Poor Sleep Quality
If it takes you longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep, if you wake up during the night more than once, or if it takes you longer than 20 minutes to drift back asleep after waking up, your sleep quality is considered poor, and you will probably feel tired the next day.
Sleep repairs your body.
While you sleep, your brain is working. Sleep is necessary for your brain to be ready to learn, remember, and to create while you are awake.
To get better sleep consider these tips:
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends.
- Don’t take naps in the evening and keep naps that you do take short.
- Get some time outside each day. Our second healthy habit for the month is to get some fresh air every day, so why not kill two birds with one stone and improve your sleep while getting a nice break in your day.
- Limit the amount of time you spend on electronics before bed.
- Don’t lie in bed if you are awake. If you can’t fall asleep after twenty minutes, get up and do a relaxing activity.
- See your health care provider if nothing you are trying is helping you improve your sleep. Your doctor can determine if you need to try alternative methods, or if you need to complete a sleep study.
Remember, the quality of your sleep is just as important as the quantity of it, and getting a schedule down is going to help you feel your best throughout the entire week.