A good night’s sleep is the foundation for every good day. Most experts suggest that healthy adults require between seven and nine hours each night, but the exact amount depends on the individual. What really matters to everyone is the quality of sleep they get.
You’ve probably had some of those nights where your attempts at a healthy amount of sleep are interrupted by noisy neighbors, vivid dreams or too much excitement. The effects of that poor sleep become clear the following morning. Head and body aches, lethargy, trouble focusing and emotional stress are all very real symptoms of poor sleep quality.
But hey, there’s good news! Once you can identify the factors that are affecting your quality of sleep, it becomes much easier to address or eliminate them to help ensure you can increase the quality of your sleep, and face the morning feeling your best!
There are often factors beyond your control that can make it challenging to get quality sleep. As mentioned earlier, these can include things like noisy apartment neighbors, barking dogs or a snoring spouse. These are very common reasons for poor sleep quality and can be remedied by purchasing some ear plugs or sound absorption products.
One of the biggest factors affecting your sleep is the quality of your bedding. Everything from the sheets and blankets to the mattress itself can contribute. Sleeping is made far easier by having bedding that it feels good to lay on. Bedding that's poorly manufactured—or just plain worn out—can cause real difficulty in getting to sleep and staying asleep.
Improper bedding is also a common cause of aches, tension and even stress. The Huffington Post recently reported on a study showing that new bedding increased sleep quality and “a significant decrease in stress” even including things like nervousness, irritability, racing thoughts and worry in the participants.
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The Wrong Temperature
According to sleep.org, “your body temperature decreases to initiate sleep”. It’s a natural part of the sleep process. So if your room is too warm, it will conflict with your body’s mechanism to achieve quality sleep. By keeping it cool in your room, you actually assist the process and help yourself to restful sleep and maintain it throughout the night.
Experts suggest a bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for adults. That might be reflected on your electric bill, of course. But how valuable is healthy sleep?
That after-dinner cup of coffee may be the perfect companion to dessert. But it can have a serious negative effect on your sleep.
Try to just say no to highly-caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea at least 6 hours prior to bed time. For some of us that may be difficult, but think how much better your coffee will taste when you wake up!
You Know Your Body Best
Examine your sleeping environment and listen to your body to determine what may be negatively impacting your sleep quality. Remember: getting good rest doesn't just affect your nights. It impacts how you feel throughout the day.