Sleep efficiency is a measurement of how much quality sleep you actually get at nighttime. Determining your sleep efficiency can help you make any necessary changes in your sleep patterns in order to achieve the restorative sleep your body needs.
One important thing to note is that your brain is what needs true deep sleep. The rest of your body needs rest just to rejuvenate, but your brain needs its daily dose of enough sleep to reset itself for the next day.
Ways to Get a Better Sleep
If you are looking to improve your sleep efficiency, here are four simple ways to do so:
1. Make Your Room Conducive to Sleeping
Take a look at your room and see if it makes you want to go to sleep. Is it calming, or is it stimulating? Sleep specialists advise removing anything stimulating, such as a TV, bright lights (anything brighter than a soothing night light), or noisy elements. If you have a window, make sure the curtains or shades can keep out the morning light so you do not wake up earlier than you should.
The temperature in the bedroom should also be comfortable; it should be slightly cooler than you keep it during the day in order to breathe easily. Be sure to have a warm blanket on the bed so you don’t get cold.
Anything that may serve as a distraction should be addressed. If your partner’s snoring disturbs your sleep, see a sleep doctor for methods to reduce the sound of snoring.
2. Wind Down Before Going to Bed
It takes time for your body to get into sleep mode. Therefore, learn to calm yourself down before bedtime. Activities nearing bedtime should be relaxing, such as taking a warm bath, listening to relaxing music, and reading calming passages.
Avoid working on your laptop, using your phone, or reading an exciting novel right before bed, because these thought-provoking activities might keep you awake. Focus on all things that can relax you, not things that make you think.
3. Avoid Eating, Drinking, and Stimulants Before Bedtime
Stimulants do not only come in the form of activities. Cigarettes, coffee, and alcohol can have a stimulating effect and make it hard for you to fall asleep and achieve restful sleep.
Your meals, especially large meals and spicy meals, can wake you up in the middle of the night – so as much as possible, eat these types of meals at least three hours before you go to bed. Lying down after eating can cause heartburn and acid reflux, which will keep you awake and can have health ramifications.
4. Keep a Sleep Diary
If you have problems sleeping, jot down your sleep patterns in a sleep diary. Do this every morning right after you wake up – write down what caused you to wake up during the night, approximately how long you remained awake in the middle of the night before falling asleep again (and whether you did fall back to sleep), and how refreshed you felt when waking up. This will help you pinpoint your biggest disruptors.
If you feel unrefreshed every morning, you may have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, which can be dangerous to your health. If you suspect that you have a sleep disorder, see a sleep doctor for an evaluation and treatment.
Sleep Lab in Irmo, South Carolina
If you have sleep issues, seeing a sleep doctor can help address them the proper way so that they do not adversely affect your health. Sleep is key to good health and well-being.
Our medical professionals at the Sleep Lab of Columbia specialize in evaluating and treating patients with sleep disorders. Our sleep lab is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
To learn more about a sleep study and how it can benefit you, call us at the Sleep Lab of Columbia today at (803) 732-2433 or request an appointment now. Our friendly staff is ready to help you get back to sleep!