The Importance of Getting Quality Sleep  

A good night’s sleep is important for those who like to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay fit. Deep sleep helps your body to recover from the previous day. It is associated with several benefits like feeling more energetic and focused. It also helps strengthen muscles and tissues after an intense workout.  

As you sleep, your body is taking the time to recover, save energy and repair muscles. The quality of your sleep determines your motor memory which is the ability to think and have better coordination. Not getting enough sleep may negatively affect your energy level, mood and workout experience. You may even feel like you are not seeing any difference after training hard. This may be due to your body is not getting quality sleep-in order to recover.  

Here is how to improve the quality of your sleep:  

1. Get enough sleep  

Getting enough sleep overall is the best thing you can do to boost the quality of your sleep and ensuring that you reach the deep sleep phase.  So, try going to bed earlier to get 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night. Although the hours of sleep you need may vary person to person.  

2. Stay active  

Keep your body and mind active with physical and mental exercise. Complex work and social interactions can improve the quality of sleep. Moderate exercise influences how quickly you fall asleep at night and decreases the amount of time you have to lie awake in bed.   

3. Avoid caffeine before going to bed  

Taking caffeine can make it harder for you to fall and stay asleep. It is also known to reduce the amount of sleep you get which may keep you from getting deep sleep. Try to avoid it 7 hours before going to bed. Try to replace caffeine with water or other decaffeinated drinks. opt for chamomile or warm milk as these drinks can help you sleep.  

4. Avoid taking naps or take them early  

Sleep pressure refers to the need your body feels towards sleeping. A lower sleep pressure can decrease deep sleep and make it more difficult to fall asleep at a regular bedtime. Avoid taking naps closer to bed time as it lowers the pressure to sleep, making it difficult to fall asleep.  

5. Set your bedroom to maximise your sleep  

The environment where you sleep plays an important role to the quality of sleep. This means there should be no bright lighting, no loud noises and a cool temperature. You may even use an eye mask to block the light.  Avoid using electronic devices before you go to bed as the exposure to the blue light emitted from your device may prevent the production of the hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle. Make sure lie on a comfortable mattress and a good pillow to support you well when you sleep.  

6. Listen to white noise  

It can be difficult to ensure a quiet environment especially if you live in a noisy area or have loud neighbors. You can block those sounds and doze off to some soothing music or white noise. Sounds like steady rainfall or waves on a beach has proven to be great sleep simulators. You can even listen to binaural beats as they are associated with higher levels of deep sleep and relaxation.  

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