Better sleep is necessary for each and every one of us to function at our optimal levels. Without enough sleep, we may find ourselves experiencing increased anxiety, stress, and weight gain, among other serious health problems. Good quality sleep is vital for our brains to process information and our bodies to fully heal. Getting quality sleep requires REM sleep, or dreaming sleep, which is stage 3 of fully deep and healing sleep. Here are some of the most important tips for optimal sleep.
Improving Sleep Quality
The first stage of sleep is sleep onset, the time it takes to actually fall asleep. Sleep maintenance is the second part, where we actually sleep through the whole night. Stress is only reduced through stage 3 deep sleep and REM sleep, where you dream. Stage 3 is the kind that helps in repairing body tissues and clearing waste.
To fully improve quality of sleep and get better sleep on a regular basis, there are a few things one needs to do. First, turning off the lights at night is key. Light triggers us to wake up during lighter stages of sleep, which can happen from plugged in devices, lamps, and phones that have notifications flashing during the night. Your iPhone should be fully shut off — not placed on “evening mode.” Any interruptions that have light sources can cause you to be roused from the most important stages of sleep.
Noise is one of the worst culprits at destroying better sleep. To get a full night’s rest, be sure to shut off TVs and radios in your room, as well as any appliances or devices that cause noise.
Temperature is another big factor in providing a full night’s rest. Too hot of a room can cause big problems — as can one that is too cold. Sleeping naked can actually be of benefit to sleep, as it will reduce your body temperature as shown through numerous scientific studies.
Try to use climate control settings ing our house to keep your nightly temperature no greater than about 65 degrees, the optimal temperature for sleep.
Keep a Regular Routine
Maintaining a normal sleep routine that lets you relax, like a hot bath, soothing music, or reading a good book can help enormously in boosting sleep quality. The important thing is to stick to roughly the same sleep schedule each day, with your routine being predictable — so your body is ready to set into sleep mode.
Have a Dedicated “Sleep-Only” Room
Your bedroom should be your sanctuary for sleeping only. Make sure your room is comfortable, cool, quiet, and dark. You can redecorate and redesign your bedroom as needed to ensure the best sleep takes place.
Exercise on a Regular Basis Before Bedtime
In order to make sure your body is primed for relaxation, you should be finished with your workout at least 2 hours before going to bed. While your body may feel fatigued after working out, it won’t actually be ready to fall asleep until at least 2 hours after exercise. This is because walking and exercising — or whichever form of aerobics you do — can stimulate blood flow and heart rate, which should be slow and steady before sleep.
Check Your Pillow and Mattress
Keeping a comfortable bed is very important to boosting sleep cycles. While your body and bed may change naturally as time passes, you may need to change your mattress every 7 years or so. Replace your pillow about one time per year.
Typically, your body will alternate sleep cycles that last about ninety minutes on average. Stage one is the first part of sleep, with stages 2 and three following soon after. Stage 3 then brings us back to REM sleep before the cycle repeats itself. The body’s temperature, outside stimuli, and other factors may contribute to the amount of time spent in any given stage of sleep. Try to get 4 to 6 sleep cycles each night to improve sleep quality and boost brain refreshment and bodily healing.
Getting better sleep is a combination of banishing electronics and noise from the bedroom, modulating the room temperature, and making sure your sleeping area is only used for that purpose. The most important thing is to keep a regular routine for sleeping and make the process a propriety so that your body has time to relax and heal before achieving the optimal quality of sleep.