How Difficulty Falling Asleep Affects Sleep Satisfaction

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Monday, August 13, 2018

For many people, the moment of turning out the light and lying back on a soft pillow is the ultimate nightly bliss. But for those who struggle to fall asleep, the prospect of staring at the ceiling and counting sheep can be disheartening. Measured by the amount of time it takes to go from being fully awake to sleep, sleep onset latency (SOL) varies from person to person and influences how you satisfied you feel about your sleep.


Restorative sleep is important for good health and mental acuity, so it’s natural to feel stressed when the process is delayed. Unfortunately, the more you stress, the harder seems to fall asleep. Use these strategies for a fresh perspective on falling asleep at night.


Learn Your Rhythm  

A circadian rhythm is your body’s system for sleeping and waking during a 24-hour day. By paying attention to this rhythm, you can determine what times during the day you feel alert and when you feel tired. Use this information to establish your daily routine, including the hour you wake up and go to bed every night.  Aligning your sleep schedule with your body’s internal clock can help you sleep well and wake up feeling more refreshed.


Power Down Electronics

If you struggle with falling asleep, it might be because of the presence of distracting devices in your bedroom. Ninety percent of Americans use their cell phones, computers, tablets, or other electronic gadgets before bed, which can interfere with nightly sleep.  (The blue, bright light emanating from these devices stimulates, rather than soothes, the senses.) For better sleep, turn off all electronics before bedtime.


Remove the Evidence

The perception of lost sleep can be annoying. One way to avoid this mental angst is to remove all clocks from your line of sight once you are in bed. Not being able to count the minutes as you lie awake can take some pressure off the situation, reducing your stress and helping sleep come more naturally.


Darken the Room

Lights from street lamps, hallway nightlights, or even the glow from your

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