Why It’s Important To Review the Way You Sleep Every Few Months

An American in Paris

Sleep is one of those extremely important aspects of life that people often tend to overlook. Ideally we should spend around a third of our lives sleeping. This provides our bodies and minds ample time each night to rest and recharge and a much better chance of waking up feeling refreshed with clear mind that is ready to focus.

Unfortunately not everyone seems to understand the importance of sleep. And there are also people that don’t realize the importance of reviewing the way you sleep and evaluating the quality of your sleep for the sake of improvement. After all it’s easy for humans to develop habits even if they’re bad ones. Sometimes your sleep pattern may alter without you even realizing it and you may no longer be following a steady pattern that actually helps you maintain a healthy mind and body. That's why it’s important to review the way you sleep every couple of months.

Keep your body’s natural sleep wake cycle as consistent as possible
It’s extremely important to maintain and keep your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle as steady as you can. Some people can follow the same schedule every single day for years without changing it. These people generally tend to have very stable and often predictable lifestyles. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and there are many people that find life more enjoyable when it’s more predictable. This means they can set the same alarm every day regardless of the month, and it also means they can follow the same schedule.

This is one of the best ways to develop good habits to help you sleep better. A predictable schedule will help you prepare for bed at the right time and it’ll train you to wake up at the right time in the morning. However, even the most punctual people will have deviations in their schedule now and then. For example, you might find it harder to stick to your schedule if you're having a tough time at work, or if you’re exhausted due to something. You may also need a day or two to adjust if you change to a drastically different timezone. This is common when people go on holiday.

By reviewing the way you sleep, you can see if there are any adjustments you can make to better your sleep pattern and life in general. For example, if there’s a small change to your schedule, then you may need to shift everything back or forward an hour to make it fit your new needs. You might also find that it’s a good idea to add an extra hour or two of sleep during the weekends to help you recharge enough energy for the next work week. Alternatively, you could overcome this by sleeping an extra hour each day instead. This can help you maintain a consistent sleep-wake pattern throughout the entire year.

Napping is also an important consideration to keep in mind. Naps have the potential to drastically change your sleeping pattern if you’re not careful which is why it’s important to be mindful about the way you nap. It’s usually suggested that you don’t nap in your regular bed as that can lead you to sleep for a longer period of time. Instead sleeping on a couch is generally better as you’re more likely to wake up and cause less disruption to your day. However, the best way to avoid this would be to avoid napping at all. This can be solved by sleeping a little more at night, or staying up as best as you can and having an early night.

It’s important to evaluate your sleep patterns to account for changes like this. If not, you might fall into bad habits without even realizing it. Make it a priority to take your sleep pattern seriously and be sure you review it every so often to see where you could make improvements.

Has your nighttime routine changed at all?
It’s also a good idea to check your nighttime routine and consider if it needs changing. While people should aim to maintain a consistent routine before bed, it may occasionally just change. For instance, some people might develop a habit of watching a show before they go to bed because a new drama series has  started. In a situation like this, you might end up sleeping an hour later than usual, or your additional screen time might make it a little harder to get to bed quickly. There are lots of potential situations like this and it’s a good idea to be mindful about what you do before bed to ensure you get a good night’s rest.

If there are changes like this, it’s important to make up for it in different ways. You could try taking supplements for better sleep, you could try recording the show and watching it the next day, or you could  aim to wake up an hour later if the option is available to you. This is best for people with a flexible schedule who can choose their working hours and is becoming increasingly common due to the number of people working from home. However, if you’re unable to do this, then you may want to consider other options.

In some cases, it might also be helpful to record your sleeping habits and compare them to your nighttime routine. Some people might find that gradual changes to their nightly routine will have a drastic impact on their quality of sleep, but they might not remember what the most effective nighttime routine was. Some might people change the type of drink they have before bed or some people might find that dietary changes will affect their quality of sleep.

For situations like this, it’s a good idea to try and record the changes you make to your schedule so that you can try and identify the cause. It may seem excessive to record all of these changes to your lifestyle just to identify the best conditions to get a good night’s sleep, but it’s well worth the investment if you’re concerned about your quality of sleep.

It’s not always about the quantity of sleep
It’s important to remember that quantity and quality of sleep are two very different things. Some people will find that even nine hours of sleep a night isn’t enough for them to avoid feeling groggy when they wake up. This can be caused by any number of factors such as sleep apnea or distractions that cause them to wake up and fall back to sleep again. There are loads of potential situations that could lead to poor quality of sleep, so don’t just focus on the number of hours you spend in bed.

Instead, it’s better to focus on the quality of your sleep and also any potential problems that could be causing you to get poor sleep at night. Sleep apnea is a potential cause of poor sleep quality. However, it’s not just something you can sleep off and ignore and hope that it will go away. Sleep apnea can potentially become a very serious condition so it should be addressed. Consider speaking to your physician if you’re getting enough sleep hours but still feel a lack of energy when you wake up.

People should feel energized when they wake up, but there are many factors that could prevent this. Sometimes it’s physical problems, but there can be times where it’s caused by mental health concerns. Whatever the case is, reviewing the way you sleep can be a crucial way to identify these problems and encourage you to do something about it so you can once again get a good night’s sleep.

Reviewing the way you sleep is important, but some people just do it naturally
Not everyone has to review the way they sleep every couple of months. Some people instinctively do it every few days to ensure they maintain a consistent schedule. However, if you’re someone that is prone to wild swings in their schedule, then it might be important to really take a look at how you’re sleeping, the hours you’re sleeping, and also how you feel when you wake up. This is the key to identifying any potential problems in your sleep.

It may also be helpful to review your sleep patterns in different seasons. For instance, you might find that it helps to change the way you sleep during summer, especially if you experience a lot of sweaty nights due to the increase in heat. This may involve a simple change such as switching your covers or opening the window, but others might find better ways to sleep at night when the temperature is drastically different from what they’re used to.

This is a contributed post.
Photo: Vogue UK

2 comments

Jackie Harrison said...

I need sleep and this was all important to keep in mind thanks

Ivana Split said...

Great tips!