Good Night, Sleep Tight: Boost Your Sleep IQ
The only thing that gets many sleep-deprived parents and professionals through the day (other than several cups of coffee) is the prospect of getting a great night’s sleep. You know that at some point, the day will end, and you can rest your head and dream sweet dreams. Sometimes that feeling pops up after a rough afternoon, but for many, those feelings of hope begin first thing in the morning.
But what happens when that beautiful sleep you’ve been looking forward to ends up being a nightmare of tossing and turning? What if you can’t turn off your mind and enjoy a full eight hours of peace, rest, and comfort?
If your sleeping habits are keeping you awake at night, you don’t have to take this fate lying down. Let’s look at some important sleep facts and tips that can help you find your way to dreamland.
Signs You’re Sleeping Better (or Worse) Than You Think
According to Reach Out, you can gauge your sleep quality based on a few simple tests. You’re probably getting a good night’s sleep if:
- You can fall asleep within 20 minutes
- You don’t wake up more than twice a night (this includes all instances of waking up, even if you don’t actually get out of bed)
- You don’t feel tired during the day
- You can focus on tasks during the day
- You feel energised during the day
If you exhibit most of these, you may be sleeping better than you realise.
However, the following can indicate your current sleep habits aren’t working for you:
- You still feel tired when you wake up in the morning
- You struggle to concentrate during the day
- You’re yawning or feeling tired during the day
- You have trouble remembering things
- You feel grumpy or short-tempered
Showing one or two of these signs occasionally isn’t anything to panic about. But if you’re consistently demonstrating these qualities, it’s time to find a better path to a good night’s sleep.
How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?
In a perfect world, there would be a simple answer to how much sleep our bodies need each night. In reality, the answer is a bit more complicated and largely depends on age.
Adults should get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night, while younger sleepers should get nine or more. Babies need to sleep between 14 and 17 hours per day, and it’s common for young kids who still take a nap to sleep as much as 12 hours per day.
However, research shows that roughly one out of three people doesn’t get enough sleep: 30% of all adults in Australia average 4-6 hours of sleep, while 2% routinely operate under four hours of sleep.
Other Sleep Facts Worth Knowing
- As humans, we spend roughly a third of our lives sleeping, though this number is technically smaller if you spend a lot of time tossing and turning. That’s a lot compared to a giraffe, which only needs about two hours of sleep each day, but not much compared to a bat, which sleeps for 20 hours per day!
- Humans are the only living creatures that delay sleep—we operate by a clock rather than listening to how our body is feeling.
- If you’re struggling to sleep at night, there could be a number of factors at play. For example, high altitudes can disrupt your nightly snooze. You might also need more exercise and/or sun exposure during the day, as both have been shown to improve sleep quality.
- If you’re struggling to sleep due to stomach aches, try sleeping on your stomach. This position has been shown to help with digestion.
- If you don’t consistently get adequate sleep, the consequences are far more severe than simply feeling tired:
- Sleep deprivation can kill you faster than food deprivation
- Lack of sleep can lead to hallucinations, paranoia, memory and concentration issues, and blurred vision, among other side effects
- Fatigue can increase your risk of injury or roadway accidents
- Pain tolerance is reduced when you are sleep deprived, which could lead to underestimating the severity of an injury
- Quality sleep plays a vital role in your mental and physical health and correlates with a healthy immune system. On days when a full night’s sleep isn’t feasible, taking two 20-minute naps can help ward off stress, infection, and inflammation.
Final Thoughts on Sleep
One of the chief causes of sleepiness is self-imposed sleep deprivation. The good news about this is that it’s fully within your control to remedy!
There are several sleep-boosting hacks like exercising, avoiding blue light exposure in the evening, and creating a bedroom oasis to improve your sleep quality and duration. Science suggests that making your bed can help you sleep better. It curbs the chaos and clutter of the room and creates a comfortable, organised bed to fall into at night.
If bed-making isn’t a top priority, Bedsmade was made with you in mind. Our innovative sheets simplify bed-making by using the secrets hotels and hospitals have known for years. Five star luxury at home, every day.
There’s no doubt that sleep is essential for functioning. The busier you are, the more important it is to get a good night’s rest that will leave you in a total zen state so you can start the day fresh.