28 Feb Improving sleep quality
Improvements in our sleep hygiene can improve our sleep, but only if we take charge of our nights and make sleep our priority. Getting adequate sleep is essential not only because it helps you feel better during the day, but because it plays a vital role in maintaining good health.
A recent article summarized 5 common reasons you are having a fragmented sleep, based on the knowledge of the expert Terry Cralle, who is a registered nurse (RN) working as a certified clinical sleep educator at The Better Sleep Council.
You’re not cutting off caffeine early enough. If we work a normal 9-5 schedule, a good rule is to switch to non-caffeinated drinks by lunchtime. Caffeine can continue in our system long into the day. One variation may be that your last caffeine beverage is until 3:00 pm.
- Alcohol close to bedtime
“[Having alcohol close to bedtime] will disrupt your sleep later on and really cause it to be fragmented,” Cralle said, “and then you can get in a vicious cycle of too much caffeine during the day, so you’re going to sort of self-medicate with alcohol at night. Then you wake up exhausted, which requires more caffeine.”
- It’s your bed.
“I’m all for getting a really comfortable mattress because it really does make a difference,” Cralle said to POPSUGAR “You want to make sure you’re optimizing your sleep in all ways possible — good sleep equals good wake.”
- It’s your sleep environment.
Sometimes, having a super comfy bed isn’t enough. It’s also important to consider how you’re utilising your bedroom space. Cralle suggests thinking of your bedroom as a “sleep sanctuary,” free of exercise equipment and clutter. Just as how you’d optimize your office for productivity and focus, limit all other bedroom activity to sleep and sex. Keep as much light out of the room as possible at night (the darker, the better) and even consider painting your walls a soothing colour.
- You might have an undiagnosed sleep disorder.
Perhaps, the disruptive sleep may have other causes. The expert says that we need to see sleep as a vital sign. There are around 88 sleep disorders and it is necessary that your GP, physician, or health provider know if you have symptoms to identify the reason for your disturbed sleep.
- YI Nicole, 5 Common Reasons You’re Waking Up in the Middle of the Night. POPSUGAR. Health and Fitness. Magazine. Feb 7 2018. Allure Media 2017. Available online: https://www.popsugar.com.au/fitness/Why-Cant-I-Sleep-Through-Night-44559473
- The Better sleep council: http://bettersleep.org/