When you enjoy a great night’s sleep, you are ready to take on the world, and whatever it throws at you. Conversely, if you don’t enjoy a great night’s sleep, your day is often ruined before it begins.

No two people are the same, and the reasons one person has an interrupted sleep pattern might be entirely different from someone else. However, there are many common factors in causing a bad night’s sleep, as well as being many positive steps you can take to enhance the quality of sleep you enjoy.

This guide is ideal for those looking for a better night’s sleep.

Tips for a better night’s sleep

If you are looking for some quick tips and changes you can apply straight away, please consider the following points in looking for a better night’s sleep:

  • Establish a regular sleep schedule

  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine

  • Make your bedroom sleep-friendly

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed

  • Exercise regularly 

  • Speak to a doctor or sleep specialist if you are still struggling to sleep

First, it is important to establish a regular sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps to regulate our body’s sleep-wake cycle. Second, create a relaxing bedtime routine such as taking a warm bath or reading a book. This will help to signal to our bodies that it is time to sleep.

Third, create a sleep-friendly environment in your bedroom by ensuring it is dark, quiet and cool. The quality and condition of your mattress is also a huge factor in how well you sleep. It should be comfortable, cool and supportive.

The National Bed Federation (NBF) advises you to change your mattress every 7 years. If you can’t remember when you last upgraded your mattress, it is perhaps time to check out something new and more conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Fourth, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed as they can interfere with sleep. Fifth, exercise regularly as this can help to improve sleep quality. Finally, if you are still struggling to sleep, speak to a doctor or sleep specialist as there may be an underlying sleep disorder.

That is six steps you can proactively take to enhance your sleep pattern, and hopefully there is something for everyone.

What’s the ideal sleeping temperature?

When it comes to creating the optimal bedroom environment for sleeping, temperature is vital. Light and sound also matter, so make sure you review these aspects, but if you are too warm or too cold, you will struggle to fall asleep, or enjoy high-quality sleep when you doze off. Just because you are sleeping doesn’t necessarily mean you will enjoy high-quality sleep.

There is a general consensus that a cool temperature is preferrable when trying to get to sleep:

The Sleep Charity in the United Kingdom suggests the ideal sleeping temperature is 16-18°C (60-65°F)

The Bed Advice website suggests the same temperatures, while stating anything below 12°C or above 24°C make it very difficult for people to fall asleep

The Sleep Foundation says the best temperature for sleeping is approximately 65 degrees, or 18.3°C.

What affects your ability to enjoy a good night’s sleep?

Knowing the factors that impact your ability to enjoy a good night’s sleep is vital, because you can then target these factors. It is helpful to target the ways you can be positive and proactive in improving your sleeping patterns, but equally, minimising the problems will also help you enjoy better sleep regularly.

Hormones

Our sleep patterns are regulated by hormones, such as melatonin and cortisol. Melatonin is produced in the evening and makes us feel sleepy, while cortisol levels are highest in the morning and help to wake us up.

As we age, our bodies produce less melatonin which can make it harder to sleep. Many women also experience sleep problems during menopause due to changes in hormone levels.

Stress

When we are stressed, our bodies produce more of the hormone cortisol. This can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you’re struggling with stress, there are a number of things you can do to manage it, such as exercise, relaxation techniques and speaking to a therapist.

Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as sleep apnoea, can make it difficult to sleep. If you have a medical condition that is impacting your sleep, speak to your doctor about treatment options.

Age

Age can be a major factor in sleep quality. As we get older, we may find it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep for the recommended seven to eight hours per night. This is due to changes in our sleep cycles as we age. 

As mentioned under the hormones section, a decrease in the production of melatonin as we age makes it harder for many people to fall asleep.

The ideal amount of sleep varies as people age

While the number of ideal hours for sleep changes as we age, adults should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Children and teenagers need more sleep, 9-10 hours on average.

Of course, there is significant anecdotal evidence of people of pensionable age, in their golden years, rising at an extremely early hour.

You can improve the quality of sleep you enjoy

Whether you decide to make a number of minor changes in your life or you overhaul your bedroom and routine, the benefits of a great night’s sleep are worth pursuing. The impact your sleeping environment has on your ability to enjoy regular sleep cannot be overstated, and finding the right mattress or bedding goes a long way to ensuring you sleep soundly.

If you require any assistance in finding your ideal bed, mattress, headboard or you simply require inspiration for a great night’s sleep, contact Aspire today.