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By: Lauri Leadley, CCSH, RPSGT – Clinical Sleep Educator|Sleep Coach 

Lauri Leadley, CCSH, RPSGT

When people hear that I am a sleep coach, they start telling me about their own sleep experience.  Unfortunately, many of the people I talk to struggle with getting quality sleep!

Here’s why getting quality sleep is so important.

The restorative benefits of quality sleep are well documented. Even in the restive state of sleep, the mind and body are busy with crucial processes elemental to good health.

These include regulating vital biological and mental functions such as metabolism, appetite control, cleansing the body of harmful toxins, as well as regulating emotions and processing experiences.

If for any reason, the natural sleep pattern gets disturbed or the quality of sleep gets diluted, it can trigger health complications and lead to sleep disorders.

Impact of Poor Sleeping Quality on your Health

When sleep is interrupted, it can lead to irritability, depression, or general fatigue throughout the day.

Sometimes, day-to-day tensions and worries can also affect quality of sleep and trigger insomnia. However, chronic sleep deprivation is the bigger threat as it can lead to health risks such as hormonal imbalance, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.

It can also affect cognitive abilities like the reaction time while driving or performing any other physically demanding activities.

Poor sleep quality can also impact the effectiveness of medications and management of other health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. If a person is suffering from an age-related condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, disturbances in the sleep pattern or a dip in sleep quality can trigger an increase in pain.

If poor quality of sleep starts impacting the day-to-day life of a person or leads to any kind of emotional and physical distress, it is a red flag.

Good Quality of Sleep – Do you know if your Sleep is on Track?

More often than not, quality of sleep is equated to the number of hours a person sleeps. However, numerous studies have indicated that quality of sleep or healthy sleep varies on an individual basis.

So, while some people feel refreshed and rested only if they can clock eight straight hours of sleep, others need five to six hours of sleep to feel just as rested. If you are unsure about your quality of sleep, consider the following:

  • Do you fall asleep within 15-20 minutes of lying down?
  • Do you have a regular sleep cycle of either seven-nine hours or five-six hours within the 24-hour period?
  • Do you sleep uninterrupted or do you spend a large portion of time simply lying awake trying your best to fall back asleep?
  • Do you feel completely rested and refreshed once you wake up?
  • Do you feel alert and productive during the hours you are awake?
  • Do you wake up feeling breathless or being unable to breathe?
  • Have your family members or a partner noted any abnormal sleep-associated behavioral changes in you such as restlessness, snoring, or pauses in breathing?

Each of these indicators can help determine if the quality of your sleep is optimal or if you need to consider adjusting your sleep routine. Unless you can course correct, falling short of any of these indicators could lead to sleep deprivation, which in turn will impact your overall health.

If you are unable to improve your sleep quality, it is best that you consult with a sleep coach or a sleep professional.

Good Sleep Quality – Small Changes Can Lead to Big Benefits

Simple lifestyle changes can help in creating a healthy sleep pattern. Instead of focusing on the quantity of sleep, the emphasis should be on quality of sleep. Consider the following:

  • Establish a regular bedtime and try to stick to that time as strictly as possible.
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, carbonated drinks, and high-calorie energy drinks before bedtime.
  • The same goes for food – try to avoid eating too late in the evening.
  • Turn off distractions such as the TV, your phone, laptop, tablet, or any other connected devices that you use.
  • Prescription medication and alcohol can lead to fragmented sleep so it’s best to avoid these.
  • Make your bedroom or sleeping area as comfortable as possible – comfortable mattress and pillow, no distracting lights, and no noise.
  • Once in bed, avoid focusing on work or any other distracting thoughts; more importantly, try and avoid looking at the clock as it will only make your more anxious.

Quality Sleep Matters

In a lot of cases, simple lifestyle changes can help in establishing a regular and healthy sleeping pattern. Lack of quality sleep can lead to health risks and trigger sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, snoring, or chronic insomnia.

At this point, it will become necessary to consult with a professional sleep coach. A complete diagnosis of the sleep pattern may be required for treating the specific sleep condition.

Valley Sleep Center – We can Help you Sleep Better!

Quality sleep is an integral aspect of strong health. If you are struggling with a sleep disorder or from poor sleep quality, we at Valley Sleep Center can help you. For a consultation with sleep coach Lauri Leadley, please email us at sleep@valleysleepcenter.com