Why sleep QUALITY is more important than sleep QUANTITY
If you’re anything like me (a busy woman), than the to-do list you have never ends.
And every night when it’s really time for me to head to bed, I keep thinking of all the other things that I need to get done that day.
If this sounds familiar, I have some good news for you.
Most people think they need to be in bed for 8 hours a night. But that’s not true for everyone.
Especially if that 8 hours isn’t a good, restful sleep.
So if you’re extremely busy and you don’t feel like you have the time to sleep 8 hours every night, here is the solution for you!
Instead of focusing on the amount of sleep you get every night, focusing on the quality of your sleep is a much better use of your time.
Because 6 hours of great sleep is far better than 8 hours of awful sleep.
I need to tell you one geeky thing about sleep to help paint this picture for you. REM sleep (you’ve probably heard of it) is the phase of sleep where all of the good stuff is happening in your body.
The repair, the reset, the recovery.
And even getting ONE cycle of REM sleep each night (which only takes 90 minutes or so) can actually be more beneficial than never getting into REM sleep at all.
Now – I’m not here to tell you that you can survive off of 90 minutes of sleep each night. Because, trust me, you won’t feel well doing that.
But I am here to tell you that when it comes to sleep, quality trumps quantity.
So what? How do you improve your sleep quality?
I have so many tips and tricks and information about how to sleep better. How to fall asleep, how to stay asleep, how to feel good throughout the day.
But today I want to share with you my top 3 tips on how to improve the QUALITY of your sleep.
Most kids have a solid bedtime routine.
Bath, pajamas, stories, etc.
It doesn’t really matter what it looks like, but that sleep routine is gold for kids.
I’m here to tell you that the same is true for adults. Having a predictable sleep routine for yourself is an underused tool to improve your sleep.
That sleep routine will include the things you do before you go to bed – maybe a cup of bedtime tea, or reading a book.
But, and probably even more importantly, part of the sleep routine includes the time you go to bed every night and the time you wake up every morning.
Getting your body into a predictable habit of sleeping is going to cue your body to know it’s time to go to sleep! And you’ll start waking up with your body’s natural rhythm, rather than being jolted out of bed by an alarm clock.
Can you think of a better way to start the day than being jolted out of bed by an alarm? It’s wonderful!
Cut Back On Alcohol
I’m going to lose some of you here but hear me out on this one.
I’m not going to tell you to cut OUT alcohol completely.
But if you’re a drinker, I am going to suggest you cut back on the alcohol.
Here’s the thing about alcohol. Even one drink in the second half of the day can stop your body from going into REM sleep at night.
A lot of us think alcohol helps us sleep better, but what alcohol does is help us pass out faster. A sleep after drinking too much alcohol is a great example of how quality is much more important than quantity. Have you ever had those nights where you just have one drink too many? And maybe you fall asleep instantly, and maybe you even have the luxury of spending 8, 10, even more hours in bed?
But how do you feel the next day?
Yes, part of that is the alcohol and the sugar, and maybe the snack foods you had later in the evening.
But much of that feeling is actually because you didn’t sleep well.
Alcohol stops your body from getting into REM sleep.
And since REM sleep is where the QUALITY of sleep comes from, alcohol is one of the biggest things that can impact your quality of sleep.
So, what is a realistic alcohol intake? If sleep is a major challenge for you, and you drink alcohol most days, I would suggest cutting it out completely for a couple of weeks to see if you feel more rested.
If you feel like your sleep quality is fine (you’re getting enough hours each night), but you don’t feel rested, then try cutting out alcohol completely for 4-5 days a week and see how you feel after those sleeps.
Fit In Some Movement Every Day
Exercise is great, but just movement in general is where it’s at.
Going for a walk.
Playing with your kids.
Or that 60-minute HIIT workout… if you have the time and the energy!
Moving your body is one of the most valuable ways to spend just a few minutes a day.
It helps to lower stress levels (which is one of the BIG things that interferes with sleep quality).
It also helps you to feel physically tired at the end of the day. Which is going to improve the quality of your sleep.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at all of the things you need to do, and you don’t think you can spend 8 hours a night sleeping, never fear!
Focusing on the quality of your sleep is the best investment you can make into your self-care.
Not sure where to start? Check out my free virtual workshop, that you can watch right now! Head here to register, so you can start sleeping better tonight.