As time goes on, we're starting to realise that 8 hours of sleep isn't always the golden ticket to feeling well rested. You could get 5 hours sleep and potentially be better rested than someone that had 10 hours. It all comes down to your sleep quality. So now you probably want to know what sleep quality is and how do you improve yours? A lot of it comes down to your sleeping environment. If it's not up to scratch, you could be getting some dud sleep. Here are 5 ways to improve sleep quality.
It's not easy for everyone to sleep in a pitch black room, as humans we're naturally scared of the dark. But, as humans, we're supposed to sleep in the dark. I know, it's catch 22. Sleeping with lights on in a room can alter your body's biological clock. We're designed to go to sleep when it's dark and wake when it's light. If you put artificial light in the mix, your body basically has no idea when it's supposed to sleep or for how long. This greatly affects your sleep quality.
If you're one of the few that can get your zzz's in a dark room, perfect. If you're not, try limiting the amount of light in the bedroom per night till eventually, you're down to sleeping in a nice dark room. Not only does it help you fall asleep and improve your sleep quality. You'll also find yourself feeling less tired in the morning.
Of course, the main feature in any sleep environment is a bed and the main feature of a bed is the mattress. Choosing a mattress to suit your sleeping style is extremely important. Sleeping on a mattress that's ill-designed for you it could lead to poor quality sleep and back problems. Here's a guide on what to choose to suit you based on your favourite sleeping positions:
Side sleepers: Soft mattresses
are great for side sleepers because they adjust to your body's natural contours as you sleep.
Movers: Medium Soft mattresses
are best for those that change up their sleeping position through the night. Medium soft provides slightly more support whilst still moving with your body.
Back sleepers: A medium to firm
mattress is perfect for those who like to sleep on their back. It offers the extra lower back support you need whilst sleeping on your back.
Front sleepers: A firm mattress
is ideal for front sleepers, those with back pain or people over 15 stone. A firm mattress provides a good amount of lower back support without allowing you to sink into the mattress.
Always try to do something relaxing at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Especially putting your feet up, often we're standing up or sitting down all day long. This leads to a build-up of fluid in the legs, once you go to lay down to sleep, it starts circulating around the body again which sends it into overdrive and can lengthen the time it takes you to doze off. If that's not a good enough excuse to put your feet up, I don't know what is.
Not all noise prevents you from sleeping. A monotonous, background noise can really improve the time it takes you to fall asleep and the overall quality of the sleep. Whilst we're dozing, our brains are still picking up noise - that's why those annoying little noises wake us up. If you're overly sensitive to noise then having white noise playing whilst you're sleeping can really help.
If you struggle with detangling all your thoughts before bed, relaxing rain noises can massively reduce stress levels. In truth, it's not the noise that prevents you from sleeping, it's unpredictable sounds. If it's not consistent silence or consistent noise, you'll find it hard to sleep. Obviously, finding consistent silence is easier said than done which is why so many of us rely on white noise to sleep. You can pick up a white noise machine or there's millions of rain sounds on YouTube.