The CDC reports that the average healthy adult gets around 8 hours of sleep a night. This equates to spending a third of any given day asleep, and to a larger extent, spending a third of your entire life asleep. Although this cumulates to a large quantity of time spent asleep, it is also just as important to ensure that our quality of sleep is well regulated and monitored. Here are some variables to consider that will help improve your time sleeping:
Stages of sleep
Believe it or not, sleeping isn’t as simple as just closing your eyes and waking up the next day. When we fall asleep, our body cycles through 5 different stages of sleep. These stages vary in duration and purpose, but the important thing you need to understand is that they all serve an important role in determining the quality of your sleep. Following the advice outlined below will help to ensure you’re falling within the optimal ranges of each stage of sleep.
To nap or not to nap?
Napping is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged in certain situations. However, be aware that experiencing daytime fatigue and drowsiness could be a sign of a more serious condition that may need to addressed. Should you decide to take a nap, it is best to keep your naps between 10 to 20 minutes to avoid feeling groggy afterward and to take your naps in the early afternoon as to not have it interfere with your nighttime sleep.
Quick tips before hitting the hay
To keep things short and simple, we’ve compiled an easy to follow guide that is sure to have you sleeping better in no time:
- Use the bathroom before going to bed.
- Limit your use of electronic devices at night.
- Avoid consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and large meals late in the afternoon.
- Exercise throughout the day.
- Experiment with different pillows and mattresses.
- Keep your room quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature.
- Lye down in bed ONLY if you are going to sleep and not for anything else.
- Track the quality of your sleep with different smart devices.
- Melatonin supplements can be resourceful in moderation.
- Be consistent with what time you to go to bed and wake up every day.
If you have any additional questions regarding the health of your sleep or would any specific problems related to sleeping disorders addressed, please make an appointment with Dr. Funk and he would be happy to help you.