Did you sleep well last night?

If I was to ask you how you slept last night, how would you respond? What do you classify as a ‘good’ night’s sleep? We often use a bad night’s sleep to explain poor performance whether at work, at home or at school; but we all likely have different criteria for determining if our sleep is good/bad. What should we use to rate our sleep? I have included 5 ways to check if you are getting a good night’s sleep:

  1. How long do you sleep for? Adults between the age 18-60 should aim for 7-9 hours each night1 to achieve optimal health. Young adults may need slightly more and those over the age of 60 sleep slightly less.
  2. How long does it take to fall asleep? If more than 30 minutes each night, you may want to look into improving your sleep hygiene. More on that to come in a later post. It may also be worth assessing if it actually takes you this long to fall asleep, or if this is just your perception. Keeping a diary of your sleep for a week may be useful to monitor sleep/wake times.
  3. Is your sleep consistent each night? Shortening your sleep duration during the working days leads to rebound sleeping during time off to ‘catch up’ on sleep lost. If you do not catch up on your sleep, you might build up a sleep debt and remain sleep deprived. Sleep hygiene, hello again.
  4. Do you wake up feeling refreshed? If you are consistently waking up feeling sleepy and unrefreshed despite sleeping for 7-9 hours, this may indicate a problem with your sleep. Consult your GP if this is a concern.
  5. Are you using your phone in bed? Everyone seems addicted to their phones these days, however you may not realise this could be significantly impacting your sleep. Turn off the phone, or download an app which filters the blue light. Sleep hygiene – time to write the next post!

Reference

  1. WATSON N., F., 2015. Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: A Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. Sleep, 38(6), pp. 843-844.

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