Getting sufficient sleep is absolutely essential if you want to maintain a good quality of life. It’s so important for our bodies and our mental wellbeing for so many reasons! If you find that you are regularly having a poor night’s sleep, you can feel drained the next day and – in the long term – you can experience ongoing health problems as a result. Sleep deprivation is a real problem and it can negatively impact your concentration levels, your memory, your mood, and your energy levels.
Getting Eight Hours
It’s generally recommended that adults get eight hours of sleep a night. But few people know why we are told to get this amount of sleep in particular. Well, the reason behind this medical recommendation is that studies have revealed that this is the optimum amount of sleep for an adult per night. Eight hours gives your body sufficient time to rest and recuperate. It can actively reduce your risk of developing adverse health conditions, it helps to manage hunger levels, it helps to maintain your immune system, and it gives your mind sufficient time to retain memories.
Identifying Sleep Conditions
There are various sleep related health conditions that can have an impact on how well you sleep throughout the night. Here’s a little information on just a few. Hopefully, it will help to show the symptoms of certain conditions and can encourage you to seek medical help if you believe you are suffering from any of them!
Snoring is a pretty common sleep issue and chances are either you snore or you know someone who snores. But what actually is snoring and what causes it? Well, the sound that we hear when people snore is the result of a vibration of their respiratory structures. This is brought about by obstructions that limit the air movement in their respiratory systems. This can, of course, cause problems besides irritating others. Snoring can give individuals low quality sleep and can result in sleep deprivation. It can also reduce the amount of air that we breathe in during our sleep. The good news is that there are ways to prevent snoring. You can find out how to prevent snoring here. If you have concerns about your snoring, you can always reach out to a doctor who will be able to give you further advice and recommendations.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, you will find that you wake up at multiple points throughout the night. Sometimes you will remember these small disturbances to your sleep, sometimes you will not. There are instances where people suffer from sleep apnea and aren’t even aware of it. Symptoms of this sleep condition can include a lack of breathing or extremely shallow breathing for extended periods of time throughout the night. These pauses in breathing can last anywhere between a few seconds and a few minutes. If you have them, you are likely to wake up feeling that you cannot breathe properly. This is a defensive response from your body, as it is struggling to get by with insufficient oxygen. Sleep apnea can be spurred by a variety of causes. These can include obesity, allergies, sinus problems, and age related problems. If you have sleep apnea, you are likely to have a low quality of sleep all round. In the long term, you may experience compromised heart health. If you believe you may be suffering from sleep apnea, it’s absolutely essential that you seek professional medical advice. You may be referred to a sleep clinic where your sleep can be monitored and sleep apnea could be officially diagnosed. You may then receive treatment, potentially including breathing aids for while you are sleeping.
Choosing the Right Bed and Bedding
Choosing the right bed and bedding can have a big impact on the quality of sleep that you get. Perhaps the most important factor to getting a good night’s sleep is your mattress. Relatively few people know that you should change your mattress once every eight years. Over time, the quality of your mattress will deteriorate from extended use, and it can also build up dirt that’s difficult to remove. Used mattresses are much heavier than new mattresses, as they retain all sorts of dirt with nightly use over time. So, make sure you get a new mattress this regularly. When deciding on a new mattress, there are various factors you need to take into consideration. You need to choose the right firmness to suit your needs. You may also want to take a little time to research whether you’d like a sprung mattress or a mattress composed of memory foam. When it comes to bedding, invest in a summer duvet and a winter duvet. The summer duvet should be relatively lightweight and breathable. The winter duvet can be heavier and warmer. If you suffer from issues such as anxiety, you may also want to look into weighted duvets. For bedding, use something environmentally friendly, breathable, and moisture wicking, such as linen bedding. Linen bedding also has the benefit of longevity, so will stand the test of time and prove to be a really good investment. Wash your bedding at least once every two weeks to maintain good hygiene. Ticking all of these boxes will make sure you are well supported in your sleep and comfortable too!
Put Your Phone Down
So many of us sleep with our phones beside us. There can be various reasons for this. Some of us want to be able to be contacted at night in case of emergencies. Some of us use our phones for alarms, so want to keep them near enough to wake us up. But it’s important that you at least put your phone down and stop using it when you are getting into bed. Phones and other mobile devices emit a blue light that can disrupt our bodies’ circadian rhythms. Our bodies can be tricked into thinking that it is daytime, reducing feelings of sleepiness and making it more difficult for us to nod off and get our kip. So, put your phone down and don’t use it in bed. This will help to lull your body into a sleepy state.
These are just a few pieces of advice that can help you to get the best quality sleep possible. Start incorporating them into your lifestyle to feel the benefits as soon as possible!