In order to wake up feeling refreshed it’s important to focus on both sleep quantity—how much sleep you get each night—as well as sleep quality, which indicates how well you sleep. Poor sleep quality can cause you to feel groggy the next day and may even be linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. But determining the quality of your sleep is less straightforward than counting the number of hours you get. Learn the signs of poor sleep quality, and discover how to improve it.
Signs Your Sleep Quality Needs to Improve
- It takes you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep after getting into bed.
- You have been diagnosed as having insomnia.
- You regularly wake up more than once per night.
- You find yourself staying awake for more than 20 minutes after waking up in the middle of the night.
- You spend less than 85 percent of your time in bed asleep.
Ways To Improve Sleep Quality
- Stop watching television or using electronic devices like a laptop or cellphone at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The blue light that’s emitted from these gadgets can make it difficult to fall asleep.
- Set your bedroom thermostat to somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Sleeping in a room that is either too warm or too cool interferes with your body’s ability to drift off.
- Follow a consistent sleep schedule. Having poor bedtime habits, such as going to bed too early (before you’re tired) or too late (when you’re overly tired) can make it more difficult to sleep soundly.
- Create a relaxing pre-bedtime routine, such as taking a bath or reading a book. Engaging in high-energy or stressful activities lowers the odds of an easy transition to sleep.
- Limit your alcohol consumption to one or two drinks per day.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages within four to six hours of bedtime, and alcohol within three hours of going to bed.
If you try these suggestions and still feel the quality of your sleep needs improvement, talk to a doctor. A physician can recommend lifestyle changes, medication, or other therapies that may improve how well you sleep.