This week is Sleep Awareness Week, and the slogan this year is: “Quality Sleep, Sound Mind, Happy World.” Let's dive into the first of these themes – quality sleep. It’s something we often talk about and are asked about. So, what does quality sleep look like? Here is our A to Zzzz guide.
You’re getting between 7–9 hours of sleep
Sleep experts typically recommend 7–9 hours of sleep for most people. However, there is no one-size-fits-all. Everyone is different, and we all have our own unique sleeping requirements. Some of us may need seven hours of sleep. Some of us may need only five — but they would be in the minority.
If you’re unsure, you can experiment with having different amounts of sleep for a few nights, and then evaluate how you feel after. If you wake up tired, you can add more hours until you find your sweet spot. If you feel refreshed after any given night of sleep and can get through your day without feeling sleepy, you are probably getting enough.
You fall asleep between 10 to 20 minutes
The amount of time it takes you to transition from wakefulness to sleep is known as your sleep latency. Most healthy adults fall asleep within 10 to 20 minutes once they get into bed. If you fall asleep faster or slower than this, then your body may be hinting that something that isn’t quite right, and you may have a sleep disorder or some poor sleep habits.
Poor sleep habits or sleep hygiene will include all the things you are doing before bed, such as consuming caffeine or food close to bedtime, working late at night or enjoying too much evening screen-time.
You have a regular bedtime
One of the most important things you can do to improve your sleep quality is to keep a regular bedtime to maintain the timing of your body's internal clock or circadian rhythm. Many of your bodily functions operate based on your circadian rhythm. It's why when you sleep poorly, you may wake up feeling mentally and physically out of whack.
Your bedtime might change between the seasons as your body can tend to follow the natural patterns of sunset and sunrise. This is normal.
You don’t snooze in the morning
If you manage to keep a regular bedtime, you will tend to wake up naturally at the same time each morning. This sounds obvious, but as soon as you wake up, your brain and body prepare to wake up too.
You must then resist hitting the snooze button as much as possible. If you don’t and you sleep for another few minutes, you will interfere with this process. And instead of feeling less tired, you can wake up feeling more tired and groggy than if you had just got out of bed.
You seldom wake up at night
Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night? If it is due to disturbances outside of your control, you have nothing to worry about. You should be able to slip right back to sleep too.
If, however, you often wake up regularly for no apparent reason and find it hard to get back to sleep, there could be an underlying issue worth checking out.
To improve your sleep quality, start by taking our free sleep assessment.
ResMed is a global leader in sleep technology that has its origins right here in Australia. Our goal is to provide people with the means to awaken their best and enjoy healthier lives by promoting good sleep habits and creating awareness for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
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