Tiredness… it’s one of the most obvious signs that you haven’t been sleeping well. If you wake up tired or can hardly make it through your day, chances are, you probably didn’t sleep well last night.
But did you know there are other pointers that could provide you with some insight into the quality of your sleep? America’s National Sleep Foundation has recently published guidelines on telltale signs that reveal whether you are sleeping well or not.
The primary indicators of a good night’s sleep are: sleeping more time while in bed (at least 85 percent of the total time), falling asleep within 30 minutes or less, waking up no more than once per night, and being awake for 20 minutes or less after initially falling asleep. These guidelines mean that if at least one of these indicators applies to you, you are receiving a good night’s sleep. And yet, the National Sleep Foundation found that 27 percent of Americans need over 30 minutes to fall asleep.
Max Hirshkowitz, chairman of the Board of Directors at the National Sleep Foundation, explained, “Millions of Americans are sleep technology users. These devices provide a glimpse into one’s sleep universe, which is otherwise unknown. The National Sleep Foundation’s guidelines on sleep duration, and now quality, make sense of it all – providing consumers with the resources needed to understand their sleep. These efforts help to make sleep science and technology more accessible to the general public that is eager to learn more about its health in bold new ways.”
Maurice Ohayon of Stanford Sleep Epidemiology Research Center added, “In the past, we defined sleep by its negative outcomes including sleep dissatisfaction, which were useful for identifying underlying pathology. Clearly, this is not the whole story. With this initiative, we are now on a better course towards defining sleep health.”
If you don’t fit into any of the four categories, then you may not be sleeping well at night and are at a higher risk of negative health outcomes that are tied to poor sleep quality.
The good news is, you can improve your shuteye experience. It can be as simple as changing your mattress and pillow – or you can get really serious about it and undergo a sleep test in a sleep lab. The key is uncovering the cause of your poor sleep. Once you know what’s preventing you from getting a good night’s rest, you can address the culprit and work towards claiming well-deserved sleep back.