For many working professionals or full-time students, getting a good night’s sleep can be a difficult goal to meet.
Being busy throughout the day can make it easy to lose track of time and allow waking hours to take precedence over the time we’re supposed to be asleep.
Even if you try to lie down and fall asleep at a reasonable time, you may find yourself tossing and turning instead of getting the rest you need.
Let’s explore common issues that inhibit good sleep quality, sleep stages, sleep hygiene, sleep schedules, and a few other sleep tips you can adopt in your life.
Not all sleep is created equal, as there are several stages of sleep an individual cycles through during the night, each of which differ in depth and degree of disconnection from the waking world.
There are five stages of sleep, including both non-REM and REM sleep, and the stages usually repeat every 90 minutes or so to create a sleep cycle.
Stages 1-4 are non-REM stages that allow the body and mind to gradually shut down in order to enter a state of deep sleep.
The final stage of sleep is the REM stage, which is characterized by almost complete paralysis of the body, rapid movement of the eyes, and the ability to dream.
A decent night’s sleep involves about four sleep cycle repetitions and between 7-9 hours of sleep.
Though sleep duration and quality are variable, it’s important that adults try to get as close to this duration as possible to ensure that deep sleep is achieved.
If you have not heard of the term “sleep hygiene,” you’re not alone.
To explain, sleep hygiene refers to the environment we set up to facilitate sleep, and the habits we adopt in relation to sleep.
A reliable sleep schedule, a clean and comfortable sleeping area, healthy daytime habits (like diet and exercise), and a soothing pre-sleep routine are all examples of good sleep hygiene.
If you struggle to sleep at night, despite having time to dedicate to preserving your rest, you might want to look at your sleep hygiene behaviors and ensure that you’re practicing healthy sleep-related habits.
One of the best sleep tips a person can adopt is following a sleep schedule.
By waking up and going to bed at the same time each day, a person can train their circadian rhythm and allow their body to prepare itself for sleep.
Adherence to a schedule creates a habit that lets the body know when it’s time to go to sleep each night.
Additionally, adopting a smart pre-sleep routine will make it to where individuals are able to limit distractions and give the brain time to relax after staring at a phone, TV, or computer screen.
Winding down for 30 minutes without looking at a screen, and getting the body to relax is a great way to significantly improve sleep quality.
The Importance of Sleep
Most of us realize that sleep is important when it comes to refreshing the mind and body after a long day.
However, due to the busy culture we live in, the significance of a good night’s sleep has often been ignored in an effort to maintain constant productivity.
Human beings are not machines, and while some people may insist that they’re incredibly successful thanks to a glaring lack of sleep each night, such practices are not ideal.
The brain and body need adequate sleep in order to not only restore energy, but to remove waste from the brain, improve learning capabilities, and strengthen memory processes.
Additionally, sleep helps to regulate mood, control appetite, and maintain a healthy libido.
Going without sleep is doing your mind and body a disservice.
If you’re struggling to sleep, despite adopting healthy sleep hygiene, it’s in your best interest to seek help for the issues you’re facing.
If you feel that the root of your sleep challenges is partially or significantly influenced by mental health issues, please feel free to book a complimentary 20-minute personalized matching consultation with our clinical intake coordinator to find the best clinical match for you.
If you’d like to seek support for your mental health needs, you’re welcome to contact our offices as soon as you’re ready. We’ve helped many people struggling with sleep issues, and we would be honored to help you, too.