(WXYZ) – Did you toss and turn last night, have crazy dreams or feel you slept like a log? How do you really know if you’ve had a good night’s sleep? Is there a way we can determine sleep quality?
It’s hard to know exactly how well you sleep at night, but there are a few factors that experts use to gauge quality. These include:
– taking 30 minutes or less to fall asleep
– sleeping for 85% of the time or longer
– waking up once a night for 5 or less minutes
– lying awake during the night for 20 minutes or less
What about sleep trackers, can they help us know how well we sleep?
There was a recent study that followed 50 participants for two weeks. They all wore sleep trackers on their wrists and kept a sleep diary. Researchers found that the sleep tracker might measure a good night’s sleep, but you may not feel like you actually had one.
What can you do if you wake up in the night but can’t fall back asleep?
That happens to many people and can be quite frustrating. So here are my prescriptions:
1. Don’t stare at the clock. You’re just going to stress yourself out as the minutes tick by.
2. Try relaxing techniques. Choose from deep breathing, meditation, or muscle relaxation where you tense your muscles and then relax them.
3. If you’re awake for more than 20 minutes, get out of bed. Do something unexciting like reading a book or listening to music until you feel tired again.
4. Make sure your bedroom is cool and dark. Too much light can make your brain feel alert. Make sure you also avoid electronic devices close to bedtime.
There are factors that indicate you’ve had a bad night’s sleep:
– if it takes an hour or longer to fall asleep
– you only sleep for 74% or less when you’re in bed
– you wake up 4 or more times during the night or
– you’re awake for over 41 minutes
For most people, you need 7-9 hours. If you have trouble please talk to your doctor to rule out health issues like acid reflux, sleep apnea and chronic pain.
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