Everyone knows sleep is important for maintaining your physical and mental wellbeing, but getting a good night’s sleep is often easier said than done. If you’ve been struggling to catch zzz’s we’re here to help.
Here, we’re showing you how to improve sleep quality by identifying the signs of poor sleep and suggesting some tips to help you improve your snooze. Read on for our full explainer or use the links below to skip to the section you’re most interested in.
Sleep quality describes how well you sleep, which can mean different things to different people. It could be based on how rested you feel throughout the day, how many hours you usually sleep, or how often you wake up throughout the night.
In order for your body and mind to function at their best, it’s essential to get the appropriate amount of sleep each night. According to the Mayo Clinic, adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, but the ideal amount of sleep varies by age, as seen below.
In addition to age, pregnancy, sleep deprivation, and sleep quality can all impact the number of hours of sleep your body needs.
For many, the importance of sleep is clear—your body and mind perform better when you’re well rested than when you’re not. However, poor sleep quality isn’t always obvious to the sleeper. Let’s take a closer look at some of the telltale signs that you may be getting poor sleep:
If you recognize one of more of these symptoms, your sleep quality may not be as good as it should be. Now that you’re familiar with the signs and side effects of poor sleep, let’s take a look at some of the reasons you’re not getting adequate sleep.
Your body relies on sleep to restore muscles, maintain its immune system, and retain information. While it is biologically positioned to sleep, there are factors that may prevent your body from getting the rest that it should. Below are some common reasons for poor sleep quality.
Many of us naturally tire throughout the day, but this isn’t always enough to fall asleep or stay asleep. Oftentimes, this struggle to sleep actually derives from things you do during the day and as you prepare yourself for bedtime.
Some examples of poor sleeping habits include:
Stress from work, relationships, money, or other issues can also be a source of poor sleep. In fact, sleep deprivation is exacerbated by poor mental wellbeing, whether as a result of increased stress, depression, anxiety. Sleep deficiency and the resultant insomnia, on the other hand, continue to worsen these conditions, establishing a frustrating cycle.
Bad sleep habits and overall sleep deprivation are also linked to a number of chronic health conditions, including:
As is the case with stress and anxiety, these health conditions may also worsen as a result of poor sleep quality.
Sleep-specific issues like sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and periodic limb movement disorder directly affect sleep quality. When these issues persist without treatment, they can continue to negatively impact sleep, and in turn, affect the cognitive and physical functions that depend on quality sleep.
If any of the above has resonated with your relationship with sleep, you’re probably wondering how to increase sleep quality. Fortunately, there are many ways you can enhance sleep quality by rethinking your bedtime routine, reducing stress, and addressing underlying issues. Let’s take a look.
In order to avoid bad sleep habits and improve sleep quality, you’ll need to correct negative habits and adopt more positive sleep practices such as:
As we mentioned, stress can negatively impact the quality of your sleep, which can in turn, exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety. Managing and minimizing your stress can be an effective way to improve your sleep quality and your overall health.
The American Psychological Association’s Stress Tip Sheet offers the following suggestions for stress management:
If you are experiencing trouble sleeping, it may be time to reach out to your primary care doctor. Discussing your symptoms with a physician may uncover a sleep-related or other medical issue. Once you’ve identified the underlying cause, you and your doctor can work together to build an effective plan for treatment.
If physical discomfort is negatively impacting the quality of your sleep, find out if MedCline is a good fit for you. Our Reflux Relief System and Shoulder Relief System are designed to help you get a better night’s sleep while helping alleviate symptoms in the long-term.
Making sure you get enough hours of sleep is important to your overall health and wellbeing, but the quality of your sleep is just as significant. Use this post to help you identify poor sleep quality and consider the suggestions above to get a better night’s sleep tonight!