How you feel about the sleep you get every night is known as sleep satisfaction. Unlike sleep quantity (which objectively measures how many hours you sleep) and sleep quality (which includes such variables as how long it takes to fall asleep and the number of awakenings you have throughout the night), sleep satisfaction looks at sleep in a more subjective light. This means that people’s views of what makes sleep satisfying can vary. For example, five hours of sleep may not feel like a lot for some people, but for a new parent it might seem heavenly. Read on for advice on how to maintain a high level of sleep satisfaction.
Set Yourself up for Success
Small tweaks to your bedroom can result in better sleep and a higher level of sleep satisfaction. Keep the room clean and uncluttered and the temperature set between 60 and 67 degrees. If your bedroom is too bright or loud, consider installing blackout curtains and a white noise machine to limit distractions. Dim the lights an hour before bedtime to help transition your body and mind into sleep mode.
Focus on the Positive
When it comes to sleep, some people focus too heavily on the negative (“I didn’t get enough sleep last night” or “I kept waking up during the night”). Focusing on the positive can help maintain a higher level of sleep satisfaction. For instance, feeling good during the day even if you didn’t get your usual eight hours of sleep is a good thing; so is being able to fall back asleep quickly after each middle-of-the-night awakening. Looking for the upside to any less-than-ideal sleep situation takes practice, but over time it can help you feel better about your overall sleep experience.
Give Your Energy a Boost
Sleep satisfaction is linked to higher levels of daytime energy—and more energy is related to greater feelings of sleep satisfaction. You can improve your energy level in several ways: Allow sunlight into your bedroom first thing in the morning, take a morning walk to get your blood flowing and heart pumping, and don’t be afraid to steal a 20-minute afternoon nap if you need it.
Because of the wide range of variables that come together to determine a person’s sleep satisfaction, there isn’t one specific thing you can do or change in order to raise your sleep satisfaction level. But a positive, energetic attitude will take you a step closer to feeling good about the sleep you’re getting.