- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How to Have a Great Night's Sleep
How you can have a great night's sleep
Millions of people all over the world wake up feeling very tired and groggy day after day after day. How would you like to wake up feeling refreshed after a night’s sleep?
I am going to tell you how you can wake up every day feeling refreshed. To get a good night’s sleep there are only a few things you have to do. I was watching a television show the other day called DR Oz.
If you live in North America you are probably aware of the show. I am not sure if it is broadcast anywhere else.
Dr Oz was explaining how to ensure you have a great night’s sleep.
I knew most of his tips and knew a bit about sleep cycles but not enough because once REM was explained a light bulb went off and I knew what I had to do to get a good sleep.
Do You Wake Up Frequently?
If you wake up frequently feeling tired and want to once and for all have a good night sleep. That is great because I want you to have one as well.
Let me share some helpful tips with you and hopefully you will start getting a better nights sleep just like I am doing now.
Learning the basics of what happens when you sleep will help you figure out how to get your zzzzzzz’s. So let’s get started.
There are basically two cycles that happen when you sleep. REM and NREM. REM stands for rapid eye movement and RNEM is for non rapid eye movement.
A full cycle of sleep (REM & NREM) lasts approximately 90 minutes. When you first fall asleep you are in NREM. During NREM sleep your body starts to repair and regenerate body tissues, building bones and your muscles.
Your immune system is also strengthened during this time. Your body will switch into its REM cycle when ready which might last 10 minutes during the first REM cycle during the night and by the time you get to your last cycle of sleep for the night your REM cycles will be much longer and your NREM will be shorter than when you first fell asleep.
During REM you experience an increase of brain activity which only makes sense that this is when you dream the most. Your major voluntary muscle groups become simultaneously temporarily paralyzed. This might be a good reason for people thinking they are still sleeping when they first awake and they have that paralyzed sensation.
Once REM is done your body starts over with NREM and so on.
What About Rem and Nrem?
Since REM and NREM typically last 90 minutes it is best to plan a good night’s sleep around this.
Let’s say you want to get up at 6 a.m and you want to get a good solid eight hours of sleep. Eight hours of sleep is recommended by the way. If you can manage nine hours of sleep per night then that is even better, shoot for that. So to figure out when you need to go to bed to take advantage of REM and NREM sleep waking up at 6a.m you would count back in 90 minute increments to either 10:30p.m which would be 7 ½ hours of sleep or 9p.m which ends up being 9 hours of sleep.
The trick here is to be asleep by 9 or 10:30 p.m. you might find that you end up waking up at 5:45a.m wide awake and not tired at all. So do you lay back down for 15 minutes?
No because if you do fall asleep you are going to feel tired and groggy when the alarm does go off because you have started in your cycle of sleep without finishing it.
I know from experience that when you wake up a bit early in the morning but feel wide awake and refreshed it's because you have woken up at the end of your REM cycle. If you only have an hour or less before you have to get up for the day you are better off to just get up when you first woke up and felt wide awake, other wise you will fall asleep for a bit and then have to wake up right in the middle of your Rem cycle and that my friend is why some dayd you feel groggy and oh so tired when you finally awake for the day.
Does that make sense? Try it tomorrow and see how it works for you.
Is Consistency the Key to a Great Nights Sleep?
If you are consistent with the time you go to bed every night and keep track of how you feel when you wake up at different times of the morning you will quickly see a pattern and find a time that you wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed every day.
Eventually you really won’t even need an alarm clock because your internal clock will have you up every day at the same time.
Consistency of when you go to bed is key to your success.
Other things you can do to help you get some sleep are to make sure that any light sources no matter how small are turned off. The darker the better.
Turn off everything electronic that really isn’t needed other than your alarm clock.
Optimal room temperature for sleeping is between 65 and 70 Fahrenheit.
Do not drink alcohol or and caffeinated beverages within a couple hours of sleep.
If you can go most of the evening without these types of drinks then even better.
Don’t eat anything within a few hours of going to bed. If you have to snack make sure it is only because you are hungry and only eat enough to curb your hunger.
Some people are bothered by acid reflux when sleeping. Raise the head of your bed a couple of inches with books or boards so that your head is slightly higher than your stomach.
The acid will not travel up your throat as easily this way and you won’t wake up with a burning throat
If you take the time to prepare yourself for bed properly by applying these tips you will notice a difference within a week.
© 2011 Grant Handford