Social IssuesLifestyle

  • Author Nadhirah Marzuki
  • Published June 23, 2021
  • Word count 797

Sleep is a natural and vital process that rejuvenates the mind and body. It is a deep state of rest during which there are no cognitive, physical, or emotional activities. Sleep quality is different from sleep quantity. Sleep quantity refers to the amount of sleep that we get every night. However, sleep quality refers to how well you sleep. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the recommended amount of sleep for and adult ages 18 to years is 7 to 9 hours per night.

Why sleep quality is important? Sleep quality is important as it influences individual’s ability to feel rested and revived for the next day, as well as reducing the daytime sleepiness. If you always feel tired and sleepy in the morning even when you already have enough sleep, it may be due the lack of sleep quality.

A poor sleep quality could lead to a lot of harmful effects towards the individual. It can be physiological such as stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, cognitive and memory deficits, and even obesity. In terms of psychological, poor sleep quality could lead to increased stress, anxiety, and depression. Besides, poor sleep quality is often associated with declining learning performance. Furthermore, poor quality sleep may also affect the safety of others. For instance, an individual could experience microsleep while driving due the lack of sleep and causes an accident which can lead to injuries or even death of the loved ones.

So, how can you actually improve your sleep quality? These are few tips on how to improve your sleep quality.

  1. Control your exposure to light.

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is released from the pineal gland with peak levels occurs at night. The secretion of this hormone is regulated by the light exposure where night-time is detected by reduced light entering the eyes. Thus, the production of melatonin is 10 times higher at night which makes us feel sleepy, compared to daytime.

Therefore, it is recommended to expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning and spend more time outside during daylight. This is because less melatonin is produced, and it helps you to stay awake. Meanwhile, during bedtime, it is recommended reduce the screen time and stop it for at least 30 minutes before going to sleep. The reason for this is that your brain will perceive the blue light emitted by the electronic devices as sunlight. Hence, less melatonin is produced which then delaying your sleep and keep you awake longer than you had like.

  1. Sleep and wake up at the same time every day.

One of the most significant ways for a better sleep quality is to get in sync with your body's natural sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm. This aids in the regulation of your body's internal clock and improves the quality of your sleep. To avoid tossing and turning, go to bed at a time when you are sleepy. A regular sleep routine trains your brain to recognize the time to sleep and the time to wake up, that you can wake up naturally by yourself even without an alarm.

  1. Reduce long daytime naps.

Short naps are beneficial as it can boost the brain function during daytime. However, it is best to limit the nap time to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon. This is because, a long daytime nap may confuse your natural sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm, hence affecting the sleep quality during the night.

  1. Improve your sleep environment.

Small modifications to your sleep environment can sometimes make a major difference in the quality of your sleep. These sleep environments include external light, noises, bedding, and temperature. Although everyone has their own preferences, most individuals sleep best in a dark, quiet, and comfortable environment. External noises can be minimized by wearing earplug to have a good sleep. Next, make sure that your mattress and bedding are comfortable to sleep on and have enough space to stretch and turn at ease. Setting the room temperature around 18° C is also proved to enhance the sleep quality.

  1. Limit your caffeine intake.

Caffeine has numerous benefits as a single dose of it can boost alertness, energy and even sports performance. However, it is not advised to take drinks with caffeine at least five hours before bed. This is because, caffeine will stimulate your nervous system which makes it difficult for your body to relax naturally at night.

In conclusion, sleep quality should be improved as a good sleep quality will make your day more productive and rejuvenated. Persisting the poor sleep quality without trying to improve it may harm yourself and others around you in the future. Therefore, it is best to consult a doctor if you still cannot manage to have a good sleep even after implementing the tips above.

a student from Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM)

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