Bed time should include a welcomed routine. Generally, it is a good idea to avoid eating anything at least four hours before bedtime. Humans are diurnal beings, so it is also a good idea to sleep when there is the least amount of light present.
For more information on improving sleep efficiency, see the following list items: sleep onset latency, total sleep time, time in bed, wake time, sleep efficiency, and free sleep trackers.
Just click the arrow below this text to view the list.
Sleep onset latency
It normally takes no more than 30 minutes to fall asleep. If it takes longer than 20 minutes on most nights, then get up and enjoy a relaxing activity that will make you sleepy once again.
Total sleep time
Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. However, the amount varies in the pre-adult years. In fact, the amount can range from 8.5 – 18 hours depending on age.
Time in bed
Subtracting sleep onset latency and total hours slept from time in bed can determine whether an individual is suffering from insomnia. Someone who is suffering from another sleep disorder may register as having slept 7-8 hours, but the amount of time in each of the 5 stages will be thrown off.
It is best to wake up at the same time every day, since light will trigger the pineal gland. This will help regulate the brain’s circadian rhythm so that an individual can feel sleepy at the same time every evening. Moreover, light therapy can help individuals with insomnia.
The benefits of sleep efficiency outweigh quantity of sleep. Studies have linked low sleep efficiency to amyloid deposition, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. It is best to aim for greater than 89% sleep efficiency. For those who would like to try a non-pharmaceutical approach, CBT can dramatically improve sleep efficiency.
Free sleep trackers
Keep track of your sleep hygiene with free electronic software. WebMD has a Sleep Tracker module available on its website. For those who prefer using a mobile device such as an iPhone, there is an application available through iTunes called Sleep Meister Lite.
Enjoy this article? Receive e-mail alerts when new articles are available. Just click on the “+ Subscribe” button under the author’s name near the bottom of the screen.