By Eric Stengle, Founder, Family Sleep Diagnostics
Sleep and sufficient rest are critical requirements for a healthy mind and body. On average, an adult needs around 7-9 hours of continuous solid sleep on a daily basis. The sleep requirements of teenagers and children are slightly higher.
Everyone has different sleep requirements. While some people need fewer hours of sleep, others might need to sleep longer. However, the one question that is most commonly voiced is this – how many hours of continuous sleep does one need to feel completely rested?
As mentioned above, everyone has different sleep needs. However, good sleep does not simply mean clocking a certain number of hours on a daily basis – your quality of sleep is just as critical a factor here.
Which is why sometimes you can spend close to 8-10 hours at a stretch in bed, yet if your sleep was fragmented or disrupted, you will wake up feeling you need more sleep. On the other hand, sometimes even 5-6 hours of deep sleep can make you feel rested and invigorated.
In both of these scenarios, the quality of sleep, as opposed to the quantity of sleep, is what matters the most to keep your mind and body in good condition.
Quality Sleep Defined
The quality of sleep of an individual depends on a number of factors such as stress levels in their work and personal space, age, their current health, underlying physical and mental illnesses and disorders, genetics, and their work schedules (traditional and shift-work).
Based on these varying factors, a person’s need for sleep in hours may vary. It is quite likely that a person who does shift-work will wake up feeling tired and sleep deprived as opposed to someone who works the regular 9 am – 6 pm schedule. Then again, the opposite could hold true as well!
How do I know if I suffer from poor sleep quality?
While good quality sleep has a positive impact on your mind and body and makes you feel refreshed and energized, poor quality sleep has the exact opposite effect on your mental and physical health.
While everyone has those few nights when you just can’t sleep well for whatever reason, the problem arises if poor sleep becomes a regular occurrence.
Even a few nights of continuously sleeping poorly can have you waking up feeling tired and sleep deprived. Your energy levels fall, you may suffer from mood swings, your mental focus dips and you will find it difficult to remain productive in your waking hours.
If you sleep poorly on a regular basis, it can also lead to health risks such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, and serious sleep disorders such obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), insomnia, and sleep deprivation.
Common signs you are sleeping poorly:
- You don’t fall into sleep quickly – you find that you need 30 minutes or more to fall asleep after getting into bed.
- Your sleep is disrupted because you wake up multiple times during the night.
- If you do wake up, you can’t fall back asleep, even after 20 – 30 minutes.
- You suffer from insomnia.
- You can barely manage to sleep 85 percent of the entire time that you spend in bed.
If the above-mentioned signs define your sleeping habits, then it is best to consult with a professional sleep coach or your health provider at the earliest so you can start sleeping better.
How can I start sleeping better?
To ensure you get a good night’s sleep, there are a few things that you can practice. These include the following:
- Create a sleep schedule and try to stick to the schedule both on work days and on weekends.
- Clear your sleeping space of all distractions – this includes all kinds of tech and sources of noise.
- Invest in good quality sleep accessories which include mattress, sheets, and pillows.
- Make sure your room has the right temperature for comfortable sleep – not too hot and not too cold.
- Avoid consuming foods and drinks that are high in calories or act as stimulants before bedtime.
- If you take medication for a health condition, check with your doctor if it could be a possible factor for poor sleep.
- Make sure you get enough physical exercise for your body.
- If stress is your trigger for poor sleep, then practice relaxation techniques and exercises to de-stress.
Family Sleep Diagnostics – Saving Lives and Marriages
Do you suffer from poor quality sleep? Or are you suffering from another kind of sleep disorder? If yes, we can help. You can reach us at Family Sleep Diagnostics or give us a call at (972) 714-0011.