We all know how important sleep is, but the question of quantity vs. quality remains unanswered. There are many opinions on which one is more important, and this article will explore them both! It also includes tips for getting better sleep, no matter what your preference might be.
Quality of sleep
Quality of sleep is more important than quantity of sleep, as long as you’re getting enough hours. This is because the quality of our sleep reflects how well (or badly) we rested and recovered from daily activities as well as stress. That’s why it is much better to have a few good nights of restorative sleep rather than a lot of poor-quality shut-eye. So, if your quantity of sleep is average, then try to boost your quality of sleep instead! Here are some tips:
Invest in a comfortable bed
Getting a comfortable mattress and pillows can make a significant difference to your quality of sleep. Also, looking out for quality bed frames like a Puffy bed base will ensure that you don’t lose much mattress support. Just make sure to check out the details and reviews before making a purchase. It’s the little things that count! Investing in good bed equipment will have a positive impact on you year after year.
Avoid sleeping pills
When you take sleeping tablets to induce sleep, your body doesn’t learn how to fall asleep on its own. It is also possible to become dependent on them, which means that you will not be able to sleep without taking pills. Sleeping tablets don’t usually offer any long-term solutions; they only mask the problem, but your underlying condition may still exist. They can even lead to worse problems like breathing difficulties (especially opioids) and memory loss.
Don’t eat too close to bedtime
Eating a heavy meal just before going to sleep will put your digestive system through a lot of work while you rest, which can affect how well you recover from daily activities like exercising or working. If possible, try not to go to bed at least for two hours after having dinner (or whatever time is suitable for you). Better yet, try keeping your last meal of the daylight so it won’t cause unpleasant digestion issues.
Stay away from electronic devices
Don’t use your computer, phone, tablet, etc. before going to sleep. These gadgets emit blue light which reduces the production of melatonin and delays sleep time (melatonin is a hormone that induces sleep). Instead of reading an article on your phone, try to do it using a Kindle or a printed book.
Stick to a schedule
Your body has the best chance of recovering from daily activities and stress if you stick to a consistent sleep cycle. That’s why it’s good to go to bed at the same time every night, no matter how late you went to sleep the night before. And also try waking up at the same time every morning, even on weekends. Sticking to a schedule will make it easier for your body to fall asleep and wake up, which means you can focus more on your quantity of sleep (rather than quality).
Quantity of sleep
On the other hand, there are also many benefits to sleeping a lot. It’s especially great for your mental health and cognition. If you’re getting enough hours of sleep naturally your mood will be improved, you’ll feel happier and more relaxed, have higher self-esteem, and be less anxious or depressed. You’ll also have a better memory, a wider vocabulary, and better decision-making skills. Furthermore, it helps with weight loss by reducing appetite while increasing metabolism. So here are some tips on how to get the good quantity of sleep you may be lacking:
Make sure you block out any noises from the outside
When you’re in bed, try to block out any noise from the outside because it can wake you up before you want to be woken up. Even if it’s your neighbor getting up early every day (or playing loud music), this sound will disturb your sleep time and make you feel even more tired than you already were before going to bed. It’s best to use earplugs or get a white noise machine that produces background noises like rain or waves, which helps us fall asleep faster. This is because we’re used to falling asleep in a silent environment and the background noise makes it easier for us (and our brains) to relax.
Limit your intake of liquids before bedtime
Limit your liquid intake before going to sleep because although drinking water seems healthy, it actually increases our time spent in the bathroom during the night. This means we’re more likely to wake up throughout the night, which will disturb our quantity of sleep. However, feel free to drink as much as you want when you wake up in the morning.
Avoid nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine before going to sleep
In the last 3–4 hours before going to bed, you should stop drinking coffee or anything with caffeine in it because caffeine is a stimulant that keeps us awake by blocking adenosine (a chemical compound that induces tiredness). It may take even as long as 14 hours after drinking your last cup of coffee for its stimulating effects to wear off completely. Furthermore, smoking cigarettes might be relaxing at first, but later they interfere with our sleep time and reduce the quality of our sleep by waking us up repeatedly through the night and reducing REM stages. How we respond to things like sugar also varies from person to person: if we’re sensitive enough, it can keep us awake all night.
Get some natural sunlight every day
It’s important to get enough exposure to natural light (or full-spectrum artificial lighting) in order to maintain the balance of circadian rhythms and sleep time. This is because our bodies release chemicals like cortisol and melatonin in response to light, which affects our sleeping habits. When we’re exposed to sunlight during the day, it helps us fall asleep faster at night by producing more melatonin. If you live in a place with long winter nights, it’s best to get some sunlight in the morning when it’s easier for us to wake up and go out. If you don’t have a day job, spend your time outside between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., because this is when sunlight is least intense and won’t damage our eyes.
You should also sleep in a dark room when you’re in bed
A dark environment is needed for good sleep. If your bedroom isn’t pitch black, or you have an alarm clock with a bright display, it’s best to cover all the windows with thick curtains or blinds so that not even a crack of light comes in. These days, sleeping masks are really easy to find and use, so you don’t have an excuse not to get one!
There are many different ways to measure sleep quality and quantity. Some people prefer a full 8 hours of uninterrupted deep, restful sleep while others only need 5-6 hours in order to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Depending on your own needs and preferences, there is an appropriate way for you to get the amount of sleep that will work best for you! We hope this article has helped shed some light on how important it is to make sure we’re getting enough good quality sleep every night.