If you aren’t feeling rested when you wake up, despite getting to sleep at least 8 hours prior, then it might not be the quantity of your sleep that’s the problem. It could be your sleepquality that needs some attention.
Theamount of sleep you get is important, but equally important is the quality of that sleep. Just like you need a certain amount of sleep, you need a certain proportion of that sleep to be what is known as "deep sleep."
Deep sleep is the stage of sleep where your brain waves slow down and your entire body is able to rest. Deep sleep is what allows your body and brain to completely recover from the day before and prepare itself for the day ahead. It'svital for proper cognitive functioning, memory retention, physical vitality and energy levels.
Curious how you can increase your sleep quality? Try thesetips to deepen your sleep and wake up feeling rested and ready for the day ahead:
- Watch your stress levels. Stress is hugely important when it comes to sleep quality. When gone unchecked, stress can make it difficult to fall asleep or even wake you up in the middle of the night. Try spending 30 minutes to an hour before you go to sleep doing something relaxing. It could be reading a book, drinking a cup of herbal tea, listening to relaxing music, taking a bath or stretching. Whatever allows you to release the stress of the day and enter into a peaceful state of mind will help.
- Develop a routine. One of the most effective ways to train your body to sleep deeper is to create (and stick to) a regular nighttime routine. Having a set routine signals to your body that it’s time to wind down and rest. For the best sleep, you can try incorporating some of your chosen stress-relieving activities into your bedtime routine.
Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day also helps regulate your circadian rhythm. This normalizes your sleep/wake cycle, which allows your body to slip into deep sleep with greater ease.
- Get regular exercise.Getting in a workout improves your health in more ways than one. Consistent exercise-- running, hiking, yoga or even simply walking-- can improve sleep quality and lead to deeper sleep. It helps exhaust your body (in a good way), leading to less tossing and turning and more restorative sleep.
- Try a meditation or mindfulness practice. Even sitting quietly and focusing on your breath for a few minutes a day can have a major effect on your sleep quality. It’s a proven tool to help prime your brain for deeper, longer sleep. It also helps decrease stress and anxiety levels, leading to an even better snooze.
- Consider your mattress. If your mattress is old or uncomfortable, it can be a lot harder to stay asleep, leading to a disrupted and poor quality night of rest. To prevent this, it's important to check in with the state of your mattress on a regular basis to see if it's helping or harming. Additionally, sometimes we forget that we too change, and as we do, our mattress needs changes as well. If you’re finding that you’re just not comfortable anymore, or are consistently waking up groggy or uncomfortable, your mattress might be to blame. If you decide that it is time for a new mattress, we’d love to see you at one ofSleep First’s locations, where we’ll be waiting to talk through your needs and guide you towards your perfect mattress.
Getting good quality sleep is vital for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Try these sleep tips to increase your deep sleep tonight and wake up feeling rejuvenated tomorrow. If you find you're still waking up groggy after trying out these tips, don't be afraid to speak with your doctor about the possibility of an undiagnosed sleep disorder. Deep sleep is possible, and you deserve it.