Although you might think that you’re getting restorative and deep sleep, you could be wrong.
Did you know that a good night’s sleep lasts through the night1? That means if you’re waking up to go to the bathroom or take too long to fall asleep, these and other disruptions impact the quality of sleep you’re getting.
We explore five ways you can get a better night’s sleep.
1. Create a restful environment for sleeping
By creating a restful environment for sleeping, which includes only using your bed for sleeping and making sure the room is cool, dark and comfortable, you’re making sure that your environment is ideal for rest and restorative sleep2.
2. Don’t nap unless you really need to
Although a nap might sound like a good idea, there are some things you can keep in mind before you decide to nap. These include3:
Knowing when a nap can be good, such as when you’re feeling sleepy on a long drive and you are worried about how well you can do things if you continue without rest
How long you should nap for, which is around 15 to 30 minutes.
If you do decide to take a nap, try and sleep around the same time every day for no longer than half an hour.
A half hour nap during the day does not replace good quality sleep at night, and only take naps when you’re not getting enough sleep at night-time.
3. Stick to a regular sleep schedule
Do your best to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day as it helps set your “internal clock”.
By sticking to your sleep schedule, you’re training your body to expect to sleep at a certain time night after night4.
Even if you don’t sleep too well the night before, if you’ve got a sleep schedule, your body can help ensure you get restful sleep the next night.
4. Don’t watch the clock if you’re struggling to sleep
If you’re not falling asleep as fast as you’re used to, try not to watch the clock, as it can actually increase your stress levels and make it harder for you to fall asleep4.
To reduce your stress if you’re not falling asleep fast enough, turn your clock face away from you and don’t check your phone in the middle of the night.
If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, it’s recommended to get out of bed and engage in a restful activity, such as listening to music or reading4.
5. Stick with the sleep changes you implement
It might sound simple, but sticking with the changes you decide to implement into your sleep routine is the only way to see if they are helping you get a better quality of sleep.
Whether it’s always wearing your eye mask before you go to bed or setting aside some time to relax before hopping into bed, making sure it’s a habit you can stick to is essential to helping you get better quality sleep for your health and wellbeing2.
If you find a habit isn’t working, try another one that you can easily introduce into your lifestyle.
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1Head to Health, Sleep, accessed 10 March 2023
2Healthdirect, Sleep, accessed 10 March 2023
3Sleep Health Foundation, Napping, accessed 10 March 2023
4Harvard Medical School, Twelve Simple Tips to Improve Your Sleep, accessed 10 March 2023