The quality of sleep you had the night before contributes to how your next day can go. It can affect how productive you would be, the level of energy you would have throughout the day, and even the way in which your body allows you to participate in certain activities.
As your brain processes information throughout sleep, this time is essential to your overall health and can be a determinant factor in many aspects of your life, like risks of diseases and mental health disorders. Although the quality of sleep differs from person to person, there are simple ways to tell whether or not you have had a good quality sleep.
Many people think a night of good sleep is nothing but an eight-hour sleep. But while sleep quantity plays a role in the quality of sleep, there is more to it that you have to observe to make sure you are getting a quality one.
Falls asleep within 30 minutes or less
According to Sleep Foundation, falling asleep longer than 30 minutes after you get into bed is an indicator of poor sleep on the Insomnia Severity Index. This is often caused by daytime habits, such as drinking too much coffee, taking long and frequent naps, too much exposure to gadgets, stressing over things, etc.
BUT this may also be a two-way street as you may have fallen asleep faster than 30 minutes only because you were sleep deprived. The key is to know whether or not there is a pattern to how long it takes you to drift off, the habits you've had in the day, and the feeling you get once you wake up. Quality sleep makes you feel well-rested.
No interruption throughout the night
Sleep interruptions happen for varied reasons, and we all have short arousals during the night. However, the more frequently this occurs, the harder it is for you to get back to sleep again, which causes fatigue and decreased sleep quantity. Also, when sleep is disrupted throughout the night, you don't often have the opportunity to progress through the sleep stages because the process of winding down starts over again. You may want to follow these WAYS to avoid interrupted sleep.
Has 7+ hours of sleep (or as recommended)
The first step we know about having good sleep is by measuring it based on quantity. As a rule of thumb, adults should have 7-9 hours of sleep, while teens should have 8-10 hours of sleep. Younger people require more amounts of sleep necessary for their growth and brain functioning.
While this is helpful, it is important to note that time is also a crucial thing to consider. It is generally advisable to sleep between 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM and wake up at 5:00 AM or a few hours later. Having a consistent sleep-wake time would also help in the long run as your body becomes more familiar with and adapt to it.
Feels well-rested in the morning
When you have had enough sleep but feel drowsy or still unrested, it is almost always because you had a fragmented sleep or slept at the wrong time. This proves that quality sleep is more than just the number of sleep hours you get.
Your body will often tell you what you need to know, so you should know how to listen and respond accordingly. A night of quality sleep should make you feel well-rested, restored, pampered, and energized. This is because good quality sleep means your body was able to undergo the correct process of winding down until the time you get up.
Now, sleep is not a "one size fits all" kind of thing because there are factors after factors that need to be taken into account. If you want to be 100% sure, there are sleep tests done by professionals or tests used in sleep studies available online that you can utilize. Regardless, knowing the basics of how you can quickly measure your sleep quality by yourself can help you holistically approach your sleep and improve your lifestyle.