Sleep Disorders, Sleep Remedies & Insomnia Relief

     

Quality Sleep or Quantity of Sleep?

Everyone has probably heard that humorous sex reference in regards to quality over quantity. However, what about when it pertains to a good night’s sleep? For most people, how restful you feel after a night’s sleep defines how your demeanor will be for that day. Every person’s sleep patterns differ, so one person might need eight to ten hours of continuous sleep to feel rested while another person might only need about six hours. Your quality of sleep is what really counts in the game of life. You might say that you get eight to ten hours of sleep, but that quantity does not account for much if the quality of that sleep was not good.

We all need sleep in order to function. It is a necessity of life, like breathing and eating. When you feel rested, thanks to a good night’s sleep, you probably feel like you could tackle anything that came your way. But if your night was interrupted by outside factors resulting in a restless sleep, chances are that you might feel irritable and not quite focused the next day.

Every person, from babies to adults, has varying levels of sleep requirements. Babies and toddlers need a lot of sleep and tend to sleep for up to half of a day, counting nighttime and naps. The sleep requirement lessens as we get older. But what constitutes “enough sleep?” “Enough sleep” translates to the amount of sleep you need in order to not feel drowsy the next day. It is thought that more than half the world’s population experiences some type of sleep problem at least once a week. Hectic lifestyles and stress are the biggest culprits that can be blamed. These sleeping problems can also be called insomnia.

If you are not waking up feeling refreshed and ready to start your day, it is time to take a look at your sleeping habits. You may be getting the quantity of sleep you need, but the quality is what gets you dragging. Ask your spouse or significant other that shares a bedroom with you about your sleep habits. Chances are that they could tell you if you snore, talk in your sleep, sleepwalk or have restless legs syndrome or some other related condition. In other words, you might not be aware of these restful sleep hindrances, but the ones who share your room and bed would definitely know because you may be interrupting their sleep too!

Other culprits that can interfere with the quality of sleep you receive have to do with your various habits or routine you have every night in preparation for bed. You may be sabotaging your sleep without even realizing it. The most common offenders that inhibit a good, restful sleep are:

  • Caffeine and alcohol
  • Late night “empty calorie” or sugary snacks
  • Certain medications
  • Watching too much television before bedtime

Caffeine is a stimulant and takes time to break down in your body therefore keeping you up at night. Alcohol is a depressant and while it might conk you out right away, within a few hours you will either wake up or not be able to reach the deep sleep stage where you get the majority of your restful sleep. The sugary snacks, medications and television viewing are contributing factors to stimulating your brain, keeping you from falling asleep. There are some things you can do to fall asleep at night. It is all a matter of creating a bedtime routine and sticking to it. Try some of these tips and see if you can fall asleep and stay sleep:

  • Soak in a hot tub or shower
  • Exercise every day
  • Turn off the television and pick up a book to wind down and relax
  • Don’t consume any liquids at least two to three hours before bed

Soaking in a hot tub or shower will allow your body to cool off naturally, kicking in your urge to go to sleep. Exercise is healthy and reading a book allows your body to relax slowly, something you might need in order to fall asleep. And by not drinking anything a few hours before bedtime, you are less likely to have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Establishing healthy bedtime routines will help you in your quest for that quality of sleep you need to get through your day. Remember, quantity doesn’t count in sleep. It’s the quality or amount of rest that you obtain from a night’s sleep that is the most important.

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