sleep quality

The Easy Way To Improve Your Sleep Quality

By creating a better quality of sleep that suits you and your lifestyle, can have a great positive impact on other areas of your life. For those of you who struggle with their sleep, we’re here to make it easy for you.

sleep

….and so to bed

Now we are in the depths of winter the days are shorter and the weather is making us less inclined to venture outside. So, what can we do to improve our wellbeing in Winter? If we take a look at the cycles found in nature, this is the time of year when the trees and animals start to slow down. Just like the hibernating bear, this is a perfect time to get some rest and get a better quality of sleep yourself.

The advised amount of sleep per night is 7 to 9 hours, although in our straw poll of attendees at events it is more common to get 6 hours per night. Ongoing sleep deprivation can affect judgment, mood, libido, ability to learn and the ability to retain information. All of which, may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury or have a negative impact on your personal relationships.

My sleep journey

I became interested in sleep when I started traveling around with Discover Your Bounce and staying away from home a lot more. Running wellbeing events I became even more aware of when I wasn’t feeling quite so energetic. So I started to pay more attention to my sleep regime. I downloaded a sleep app called Sleep Cycle which recorded my sleeping habits – and my snoring!

This is what I discovered….

I thought that I went to bed at 10pm most nights, but after a few weeks, it was clear I actually went to bed between 11pm and midnight. I had the right intention. To get enough sleep, regardless of the early starts in the morning. Turns out, I wasn’t actually giving myself enough time to sleep.

Whenever I wake up, I start my day. I don’t dawdle or stay in bed long. As a motivated person I always have a lot I want to achieve and so I took the opportunity to get on with it, even if I had hardly slept.

Time to rethink. Time to prioritise my wellbeing again

The changes I made as a result of paying attention to my sleep was to go to bed earlier and to go back to sleep when I woke up at 4am. This took some practice, but I also thought to myself, that I when I went to bed, it didn’t take me too long before I was asleep. So logically, I should be able to go back to sleep at 4am quickly too.

Not quite the case yet and my mind took some convincing. I tried many different things until I found a solution that was right for me. I get myself comfortable and concentrate on my breathing. If I have a thought I let it go or replaced it with my “I’m going to sleep” mantra. I pay attention to any tension in my body and I consciously release this tension. Often there is something going on in our lives which we need to let go or work through first, before truly getting a good nights sleep. I found using the Rain Rain app or The Sleep Aid in the Sleep Cycle app to create white noise, helped me focus on that rather than all the things I have to do tomorrow.

Sleep Cycle grades your sleep and in the beginning I had a sleep quality of  60%  – it now averages at 75% with some nights being 100%.

Below is a screenshot from the app, detailing your sleep quality.

sleep cycle app

 

Some Ideas for getting better quality sleep

  • Keep a sleep diary, either in an app or in a journal
  • Avoid alcohol and heavy meals in the evening
  • Have a wind-down routine
  • Write down 10 good things which have happened today, or things you are grateful for. It puts your brain in a happy positive place as you go to sleep.

 

Some Apps to try out :

Calm App Sleep Cycle AppRain Rain AppInsight Timer App

For more ideas around sleep, book the Discover Your Bounce Sleep Workshop for your workplace, or book a mentoring session to consider your individual options for getting better sleep. We are not medical professionals but we can help with your peace of mind and give you practical things to try out. Find out more here.

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About The Author

Sharon Critchlow

Sharon Critchlow is a Wellbeing Advocate, speaker and facilitator at Discover Your Bounce for Business. Passionate about people being the best they can be she is a Time To Change Champion for mental health and holds a Masters level qualification in strategic coaching for performance. Sharon is a qualified accountant and has 20 years experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. www.discoveryourbounce.com www.time-to-change.org.uk