(Part 2 of 2: Sleep Quality over Quantity)
It’s easy to see why, on average, people are not sleeping as well as they should. Between the environmental pollution, technology, and the constant thinking brain, we are slowing losing more and more quality sleep. Let’s explore some great methods to help improve your overall sleep quality.
FACTORS FOR HIGHER SLEEP QUALITY
Exercise – Of the handful of studies that have been performed, they suggest that exercise significantly improves the quality of sleep. The only study that looked at the effects of a single exercise session found that 20-30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (e.g., walking) reduced the time it took to fall asleep and increased the length of sleep of people compared to a night in which they did not exercise.
Meditate – The lead author of a study on sleep apnea, David S. Black, said mindfulness meditation probably helped settle the brain’s arousal systems. And unlike widely used sleep drugs, it does not have potentially severe side effects, said Dr. Black, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California.
Write It Down, Let It Go – Keeping a journal by the bed can be a great way to stop that busy thinking brain from continuing its cycle. You can use this journal to write down last minute thoughts, ideas, to-dos, whatever comes into your mind. The idea is to write it down, so we eliminate the fear of forgetting it in the morning, and let it go. The thought or idea has been captured, you can get to it in the morning.
Soothing Music or Sounds – Listening to soothing music or sounds can be a great way to keep your mind distracted from your day to day distractions, allowing you to fall asleep easier. Make sure that your sound maker or music has an “sleep timer” on it, so you don’t wake up in the middle of the night irritated by the sound.