How Do You Define a Good Night's Sleep?
What does it mean when you say you had a great night of sleep?
I think that this question can be different for some of us. I always tend to think of a good night's sleep when I wake up feeling refreshed and alert. I have mentioned that I have a form of muscular dystrophy. I prefer to sleep on a firmer mattress. This makes it easier for me to move around at night.
Falling back to sleep if I wake during the night
I tend to wake up a few times a night. Sleeping in the same position can cause some pressure issues for me. Due to my weakness from the muscular dystrophy, I need to put significant effort into switching positions. Most people can roll from side to side in their sleep. When I am awakened due to some pain from being in the same position for a few hours, I am usually awake for about 3 or 4 minutes. Luckily, I am usually able to fall right back to sleep.
There are some people who wouldn't be able to get back to sleep. These types of awakenings in the middle of the night would ruin their good night's sleep. I have been traveling a little these past few years. Staying at a hotel is not always best for me. Hotels tend to use pillow-top mattresses. Personally, I find these very uncomfortable because I sink in and can't move.
Keeping an evening routine
I find getting into a routine every evening and sticking to it helps me have a good night's sleep.
My routine starts by eating dinner at least 3 hours before I want to go to bed. I find when I eat too close to my desired bedtime, I have a more difficult time falling asleep. My sleep specialist made this suggestion to me and I have found that it works.
Reducing screen time
I used to be someone who would fall asleep with the TV on. I have stopped doing this for quite a while, which has also resulted in a huge improvement in how I feel the next morning. I now prefer a dark, quiet room.
Going a step further – but it's not something I do regularly – I have been trying to stay off any screens about an hour before bed. This includes TV, computer, and phone. On nights where I stay off the screens, I'll use that time to meditate. When I do this, it definitely makes a difference in how I feel the next day.
Wearing my CPAP
Wearing CPAP is the number 1 must-do for me. Without my CPAP, I wouldn't have a good night's sleep. I probably sound like a broken record. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and CPAP has been your recommended therapy, consider yourself lucky.
From my experience, it's the easiest thing you can do to improve your sleep immediately. I can't say this enough.
If I skip all of my other routines and only do CPAP, I still wake up feeling rested. I consider that a good night's rest. How about you? What are your barometers for a good night's sleep? What are some routines that you have found that work for you?
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