4 Quick Tips To Improve Your Sleep Quality
With over half of the world’s population not getting the recommended amount of sleep each night, the impact of sleep deprivation on our health is at an all time high. A lack of good quality sleep can exacerbate existing illnesses and cause the onset of more serious conditions.
“51% of the world’s population do not get enough sleep.”
In this blog I’ll be discussing the methods I’ve used to help improve my sleep quality. Although scientific sleep research is still fairly limited, some studies have shown these methods can have a positive impact on the quality of our sleep.
1. Download the Sleep Cycle App
Many sleep apps are subject to criticism due to a lack of clinical validity. However, in terms of increasing awareness of the importance of sleep and highlighting poor sleeping habits, their impact is significant.
Sleep Cycle monitors sleeping patterns and illustrates the results in graphical form. Users can see when and how long they stayed in different sleep cycles and set an alarm to be awoken in the lightest sleep cycle to reduce grogginess. This helps the body to feel as though it is waking up naturally rested as it would without an alarm clock.
A premium version is also available which provides additional analysis and statistics on topics such as snoring and mood, plus the addition of a sleep aid to help you drift off easier.
2. Check Your Bedroom Temperature
Finding our ideal sleep temperature plays a very important role in helping us to drift off easily and reduce sleep disturbance. If the body is too hot or too cold, it works harder to self-regulate body temperature to reach its optimal level. As the body is working hard to do this, it is not in an ideal resting mode for sleep. Shivering or sweating during sleep can also wake us up and disrupt a healthy sleep cycle.
The ideal sleeping temperature is dependent on many factors such as the individual’s core temperature, clothing, pillow choice and duvet thickness. As a general guide, 15-20°c is considered the optimal room temperature for a good night’s sleep. Download a temperature app to check and adjust the heat to your optimal temperature before you go to bed.
3. Take a Hot Bath Before Bed
Studies have proven that relaxing in the tub before bed can help improve our sleep quality. Body temperature naturally plummets after taking a bath which is exactly what the body does when trying to get to sleep. Replicating this process helps the body to relax and fall asleep more quickly.
4. Try Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Technically this is not a ‘quick’ tip, however if the first 3 methods don’t improve your ability to drift off easily then CBT may be worth a try.Cognitive Behavioural Therapy improves our mental health by addressing issues that might be causing us stress and anxiety, which can disrupt our sleep.
CBT also challenges underlying thoughts and feelings about sleep. Often when we regularly experience a poor sleeping pattern, we can make the situation worse because we only expect to get a bad night’s sleep. CBT encourages poor sleepers to establish a strong connection between bed and successful sleep using proven techniques.
To find a therapist in your local area, search the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy directory.
If you’re concerned that either you’re not getting enough sleep or that your sleep quality could be improved, try a combination of all of these tips to see how they work for you.
What methods have you used to improve your sleep quality? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.
Read our first blog to see how a lack of sleep can negatively impact our mental health.