Your sleep cycle helps you feel rested, rejuvenated, and energized, ready to tackle a new day of challenges. Completing your entire sleep cycle and understanding how this impacts your ability to create beneficial sleep habits can have you sleeping better than ever.
There are many ways to feel better about how you sleep. One of the key methods is to ensure you are sleeping on the best mattress possible. If you’re someone who finds it difficult to fall asleep fast, then it would be worthwhile trying cooling bedding or even a weighted blanket.
We’re going to take a deep dive into three easy steps that will help sleepers of all ages improve their sleep. But before that, let’s ensure you have a clear understanding of what a sleep cycle actually is.
What is a sleep cycle?
The sleep cycle is often referred to as the ‘body clock’ that lives within us. Don’t take that literally. When you hear the term ‘body clock’, it means the mind and body’s ability to recognize when it is the right time to wake up and go to sleep.
The best way to develop a body clock that can allow you to wake up without hitting snooze and feel naturally energized is to ensure your body experiences the entire sleep cycle.
The sleep cycle consists of 5 stages of sleep. For healthy sleep, each stage of sleep should continue every 90 minutes or so, and the entire cycle should be completed four to seven times to achieve a full 7 to 9 hours of sleep.
Each stage of the sleep cycle plays a different role.
Stage 1 of the sleep cycle
During stage 1, you begin to feel sleepy, and your mind and body will start slowing down. It only lasts for around 10 minutes on average.
Stage 2 of the sleep cycle
During stage 2 of the sleep cycle, the entire body begins to relax, and sudden spikes in brain wave activity, known as sleep spindles, occur. These spikes are essential for memory.
Stage 3 and 4 of the sleep cycle
During stages 3 and 4 of the sleep cycle, the body enters full relaxation and becomes limp. Breathing slows, and the temperature of the body and blood pressure decrease. This is an essential stage for recovery.
Stage 5 of the sleep cycle
During stage 5, the body experienced REM sleep. REM stands for rapid eye movement. Dreams occur during this stage of sleep, and while brain activity is high, the body is in complete relaxation. As we get older, the time of REM increases.
To feel rested entirely, you need to experience the full cycle of sleep for the right amount of time. If you wake up drowsy or lay in bed awake for hours on end, it is highly likely that you are not properly experiencing the sleep cycle.
How to improve your sleep cycle in 3 easy steps
The good news is, you can consistently improve your sleep cycle and experience the best sleep ever.
Step 1: make sure you are sleeping on the best mattress possible
If your mattress is uncomfortable, your sleep cycle will suffer. Sleeping on the most comfortable mattress will ensure stage one of sleep occurs very fast. The quicker you enter the sleep cycle, the more opportunity you have to get the recommended hours of sleep.
A memory foam mattress is considered to be the best mattress for troubled sleepers as it is both comfortable and cooling. Sleeping on a cooling mattress can create deeper sleep. The reason why memory foam is so frequently regarded as the best mattress is its ability to contour to the body.
The contouring effect supports muscles and joints and provides relief to pressure points. Sleeping this comfortably has a very positive impact on the sleep cycle.
Step 2: wrap yourself up in cooling bedding
Once your mattress is comfy and supportive, you need to lay it with the best bedding. Just like a mattress that sleeps too hot, hot bedding can be a nightmare when you need to improve your sleep cycle. Bedding that creates discomfort can force frequent disruptions throughout the night. Each time you wake up unnecessarily, your sleep cycle is impacted.
To fall asleep faster, try a weighted blanket. Ensure it is a cooling weighted blanket so you don’t overheat. If you haven’t heard of one before, weighted blanket benefits are quite significant. They help people who experience sleep anxiety fall asleep faster, so they no longer lay in bed, counting sheep.
Weighted blankets provide a similar feeling to being hugged. Small weight pallets within the blanket make it heavy. Gentle pressure stimulation is a great solution for people who want to feel more satisfied with their sleep cycle.
Step 3: sleep at the same time every single night
When your bed is in order, it comes time to sleep in it. Plan your sleep ahead of time. Creating a sleep schedule is an excellent way to ensure you have a satisfying sleep cycle. Relaxing at the same time every night is critical for developing a body clock that falls asleep and wakes up naturally without constant wake up calls.
Even the most troubled sleepers can create healthy sleep habits and revolutionize the way they sleep. Quality sleep is vital for healthy and happy lifestyles. Sleep really is at the center of everything we do. Children, adults, and the elderly all require sleep.
If you are looking for better sleep, try upgrading to the best mattress, using a weighted blanket, and creating a sleep schedule that allows you to create lasting sleep habits that can give you the sleep you deserve.