In an ideal world, everyone would get an abundant amount of totally restful sleep. After the kind of night where you wake up feeling refreshed and recharged, ready to seize the day. Unfortunately, that kind of sleep is difficult to come by. With long work hours, busy social schedules, and a ton of everyday stressors, it can be really difficult to get that great night’s sleep that we all crave. When looking to improve your sleep, there’s always a lot of emphasis on getting to a certain threshold of hours. In other words, 8 hours of sleep is the bar that most people would love to clear. But is that really what people should be aiming for? Is 8 hours of mediocre sleep better than 6 hours of great sleep? The Rise and Shine team investigated to see if we could shed some light on the confusion.
What leaves you feeling most refreshed?
All other factors being equal, it is undeniable that getting more sleep is better. Factors like temperature, mood, smells, levels of melatonin and bed comfort can all affect how well someone sleeps at night. They can also all be disqualifying reasons why more is not always better. Eight hours of sleep in an incredibly cold or hot room will not leave someone feeling as refreshed as they would be if they had gotten six hours of sleep in a room with a better temperature for sleep.
What’s REM and how does it impact my sleep?
Feeling refreshed after a night’s sleep has a lot to do with your REM cycle. REM stands for rapid eye movement and refers to the deepest state of sleep your body reaches during the night. The key to a good night’s sleep is to access that state as quickly as possible. To sleep better and get more REM sleep, try shutting down earlier in the night. In particular, the backlight on electronic devices’ screens can disrupt melatonin production and limit REM sleep. If you are on your phone up until the moment you fall asleep, you might be getting plenty of hours of sleep, but still waking up groggy and tired.
And the winner is…
So it turns out that the debate is not how much time your body needs to sleep, but how well your body is sleeping during that time. Perhaps people should pay more attention not to how many hours of sleep they need, but rather what they are doing in the time leading up to sleep. Taking a hot bath, shutting off your electronics, and drinking chamomile tea are all different ways to prepare for bed in a manner that will increase your time spent in REM sleep. While you should obviously try to sleep for 6-8 hours, focusing on your quality of sleep could be a game changer for your life.
Another way to ensure your body eases into REM sleep is by drinking reBloom, which is clinically proven to be effective in helping people fall asleep and experience improved sleep quality.