While we often talk about how snoring solutions and sleep apnea treatments can provide a better night’s rest in our SleepRight McKinney blog, we don’t often address what actually separates good sleep from bad.
As anyone dealing with obstructive sleep apnea can tell you, not all sleep works equally well at helping you feel rested and refreshed the next day. Sleeping in only short bursts doesn’t provide that deep REM rest the body requires to recharge itself. Without a regular supply of REM, patients with obstructive sleep apnea often experience daytime drowsiness, trouble concentrating, and irritability.
Unfortunately, snoring solutions don’t always help to treat sleep apnea. That’s why at SleepRight McKinney, we provide our patients with a range of sleep solutions designed to help them get the improved rest they deserve.
The problem with poor sleep is that most patients don’t even know they have a problem. Their nightly sleep problems have become so ingrained they don’t even realize their sleep quality is poor.
Let’s take a look at few questions you should ask yourself to help determine the quality of your sleep.
How long does it take me to fall asleep?
One of the primary indicators of healthy sleep is how long it takes to actually fall asleep. Sleep studies have found that up to 27 percent of adults in the U.S. take longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep once in bed. However, the National Sleep Foundation considers falling asleep in less than 30 minutes a sign of quality sleep.
How often do you wake at night?
Enjoying a continuous sleep helps the body fall into the deep REM state it needs to feel fully recharged. Waking up constantly throughout the night prevents the body from reaching that required state. If you’re waking up repeatedly throughout the night, your body can’t get the deep sleep it needs. That’s why the NSF says waking up one or fewer times at night is a sign of quality sleep.
How long does it take for you to fall back asleep?
Waking up at night happens, especially if you drank a big glass of water right before bed. However, once at rest the body is usually able to get back to sleep pretty quickly. It’s when you take a long time to fall back asleep that the quality of your rest becomes interrupted. The total amount of time you stay awake after initially falling asleep is another indicator of quality sleep. The goal should be for you to fall back asleep within 20 minutes of waking.
What percentage of time in bed is actually spent asleep?
The amount of time we spend in bed versus asleep in bed matters when determining the quality of our sleep. Too often today we treat our beds like a second couch. TVs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones have a habit of making their way into our bedrooms, potentially complicating how we fall asleep at night.
Electronic devices produce a frequency of blue light that studies have found interfere with the body’s ability relax. By watching TV or surfing the web in bed, you absorb a level of blue light that makes it difficult for you to relax and fall asleep once the power is turned off. This is why sleep experts recommend leaving all electronics out of the bedroom.
Instead of using the bedroom as a second living space, try to make sure that at least 85 percent of your time in bed is spent asleep. To determine your percentage, take the total amount of time you spend in bed (in minutes) and subtract the number of minutes you spent not sleeping (this includes time spent reading, watching TV, and even falling asleep) from the amount of time you spent asleep. This number is your sleep time. Divide your sleep time from the total amount of time you spent in bed to determine your sleep percentage.
A Goodnight’s Rest Matters
At SleepRight McKinney, we appreciate the need for a goodnight’s sleep. If you haven’t been getting the type of sleep needed to feel rested and refreshed, make sure to contact our office to see the type of snoring solutions and sleep apnea treatments Dr. Lawrence can provide.
Sleep matters. Contact SleepRight McKinney today to start getting the goodnight’s rest you deserve.