How To Sleep Better At Night? Depending on how rested and refuelled you feel when you get up, you may use a tracker and review your sleep data from the previous night.
According to recent research, how you perceive the quality of your sleep may impact how you feel and behave the following day and how well you slept the night before.
According to a University of Warwick study, people’s well-being is more influenced by how they feel about their sleep than by what sleep-tracking technology reveals about the quality of their sleep.
One hundred participants, ages 18 to 22, completed a sleep diary for two weeks, recording when they went to bed and prepared for sleep, how long it took them to fall asleep, when they woke up, when they got out of bed, and how satisfied they were with their overall sleep.
The next day, the participants were asked to score their positive and negative emotions as well as their level of satisfaction with their life. They also wore an actigraph on their wrist for the study to track their movement, sleep cycles, and rest periods.
To determine how participants’ evaluations of their sleep quality correlated with their mood and level of life satisfaction the following day, researchers compared the actigraph data with those of the participants.
Lead author Dr. Anita Lenneis of the University of Warwick’s Department of Psychology commented on the findings: “Our results showed that young people’s ratings of their sleep were consistently correlated with their perceptions of their well-being and life satisfaction. The next day, those who claimed to have slept better than usual felt happier and were more content with their lives.
However, according to Lenneis, “the actigraphy-derived measure of sleep efficiency, which is called sleep efficiency, was not at all connected with the well-being of the following day.
In essence, the study demonstrates that, for mood and overall well-being, your judgment of the quality of your sleep matters more than what your sleep equipment report. Although a sleep monitor may indicate that you slept poorly, if you believe you slept well, you may feel better the next day.
Why it affects how you feel about your sleep quality
These findings don’t surprise Dr. Naheed Ali, a physician and senior writer for Sleep Bubble. Although useful, modern sleep tracking equipment can only measure some components of sleep and cannot capture the unique, qualitative experience. As with many other health-related issues, perception frequently has a big impact,” he says.
However, you shouldn’t put your sleep monitor to sleep just yet. According to Ali, they offer an accurate assessment of the physical effects of sleep, such as movement, which can be helpful. Still, they fall short regarding gauging factors like your mood when you wake up, potential dreams, or just how prepared you are for the day.
In this new research, he explains the discrepancy between actigraphy data and individual sleep evaluations by saying that a device cannot capture these subtleties.
LeMeita Smith, Ph.D., a sleep psychologist, agrees that this research supports what she observes in her patients.
According to her, various things, such as stress levels, daily experiences, and our preconceived views about sleep, affect how well we perceive our sleep.
“Psychological research has consistently highlighted the power of one’s beliefs and perceptions on various aspects of life, including sleep and well-being, so it stands to reason that if someone believes they had a good night’s sleep, they may wake up with a positive mindset, leading to an improved mood and life satisfaction throughout the day,” the author writes.
On the other hand, even if the sleep tracker reveals that a person slept well, their unfavorable perspective of their sleep could make them feel less emotionally satisfied that day.
Smith attributes the discrepancy between actigraph data and sleep perception to the subjectivity of human experience. “Sleep is a complex phenomenon that involves both physiological and psychological and emotional aspects,” she explains.
Stress, anxiety, or negative thoughts can make it hard for some people to fall or stay asleep. It can impact how they feel about the quality of their sleep, even if they get enough hours of rest.
How to sleep better at night?
What can you do if you’re not receiving the sleep you require? According to Ali, maintaining proper sleep hygiene is essential.
You can create a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day — even on the weekends. Establishing a relaxing night routine that includes reading a book, listening to quiet music, or practicing relaxation techniques is also a good idea.
“Make sure your bedroom is a sleep-friendly environment,” Ali counsels. Keep the room dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Use an eye mask, white noise machine, or earplugs if necessary.
It’s a good idea to turn off your phones, tablets, computers, and TVs a few hours before bed because the blue light they create can interfere with sleep. Pay close attention to what you consume as well. Large meals, coffee, and alcohol should be avoided right before bedtime, says Ali.
Although some of these recommendations might seem apparent, according to Ali, they can significantly improve how well you sleep.
How to perceive your sleep quality more favorably
What happens if you do awaken in the morning feeling sleepy and groggy? According to Smith, you can change the situation with a few mental adjustments.
By concentrating on the positive aspects of their sleep experience, such as the duration, comfort, dreams, or the advantages of sleep for their health and well-being, a person who hasn’t slept well might change how they see their sleep.
Smith advises you to confront any unfavorable or unreasonable beliefs about sleeping if you want to take it further. Smith gives the statements “I can never sleep well” and “I need eight hours of sleep every night to function well” examples.
Smith suggests replacing these beliefs with more realistic ones, such as “I can still perform well even if I sleep less than eight hours sometimes” or “I have slept well before, and I can do it again,” to alter how well you perceive how well you’ve slept and, in turn, enhance how you feel that day.
According to Ali, the most important finding from this research is the crucial part that personal perception plays in sleep quality and general well-being. From a psychological standpoint, it implies that we have some control over how we interpret the quality of our sleep and how we feel the following day.
“Sleep monitors might offer useful information, but they don’t provide a whole picture. Personal experience, emotions, and perceptions greatly impact how well we sleep and feel overall, says Ali. Source