When it comes to sleep, the general consensus is that if you’re in bed for eight hours each night, you’re getting enough.
Unfortunately, there are many more factors which contribute to a healthy doze, other than just how many hours you get.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep quality plays a much larger role in general well being rather than sleep quantity.
Trouble is, it can be tricky to work out overall sleep quality.
A great way to crack the code is to ask yourself some questions this autumn, find out more below to discover what your sleep quality really says about your well being.
How Often Do You Wake In the Night?
There is a big link between waking during the night and a reduction in sleep quality, leading to an increase in tiredness the following day.
If you find yourself waking multiple times throughout the night, then your sleep quality is probably low.
Combat this by reducing alcohol intake and avoiding caffeine six hours before heading to bed, other techniques could also be to reduce stress, which can in turn reduce disruption during sleep. Discover our guide here for tips on reducing stress.
What percentage of time spent in bed do you actually spend sleeping?
You might be spending eight hours in bed, but there is a high chance that you’re not asleep for that whole length of time.
A great way to combat this is to only use your bed for sleep, and disassociate activities such as working and eating from the bedroom.
Turn off the TV and electronic devices one hour before bed, and aim to be spending at least 85 per cent of your time in bed, asleep, it will really help to improve sleep quality and can be a great way to mentally train our bodies to think of working whilst away from bed.
How long does it take for you to fall asleep?
Drifting off to slumber in thirty minutes or less tends to be a good indicator of great quality sleep, if you’re struggling to sleep after one whole hour, then chances are that you’re suffering with insomnia and a poor quality of rest.
Likewise, if you’re finding yourself dropping off to sleep within minutes, your sleep quality is probably low too as you might be experiencing sleep deprivation, with the body eager to slip off into sleep fast.
Discover the effects of sleep deprivation on the body here.
How long do you lie there after waking in the night?
If you’re lying there for more than twenty minutes after waking up in the middle of the night, then chances are that your quality of sleep is pretty poor indeed.
Again, seek to make improvements to this through avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bed.
Another great way to sort this is to reduce fluid intake before falling asleep, this means you’ll be less likely to wake in the night and you’ll probably wake feeling much more rested and content.
If you do wake in the night, a great tip is to get up out of bed and do something else until you feel naturally tired again, other options could be to have a hot drink of milk or opt for reading.
Take a look at the benefits of reading before sleep here.