Why does sleep continuity matter?
Sleep continuity is the ability to sleep through the night without waking up and plays a significant role in the ability to cope with stress and regulate emotions. Disrupted sleep continuity is often referred to as fragmented sleep or interrupted sleep. If not feeling refreshed in the morning or experiencing daytime sleepiness, disrupted sleep continuity may be to blame.
What are the effects of sleep continuity disruption?
Sleep continuity disruption has been found to affect mood and ability to regulate emotions more so than partial sleep loss (delaying sleep). Also, inadequate sleep may lead to changes in sleep architecture (stages and cycles), which evidence suggests increases the risk for depression.
Looking to improve sleep continuity?
Not all causes of interrupted sleep are under our control, but the below sleep hygiene habits and routines may reduce the number of common causes associated with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, this includes weekends
- Follow a pre-sleep, bedtime routine
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and large meals too close to bedtime
- Avoid screens (tv, phone, pad, etc.) in and before bed
- Use blackout curtains or a sleep mask
- Wear ear plugs or use a white or brown noise machine or app
- Bedding should be clean and comfortable
- Bedroom temperature should be comfortable, a cooler setting is recommended
- Talk with partner or roommate about snoring or other causes of potential sleep interruptions
- Journal or write out a to-do list
- Get outside, open blinds, and get daily exposure to sunlight
- Find time to be physically active every day
To learn more about sleep continuity, talk with your local Semper Fit Sleep Coach. Additional information pertaining to sleep health can be found here.