What Makes for a Great Night of Sleep?

Written by  //  June 14, 2013  //  Health, Wellness  //  No comments

Doctors have said for years how important it is to get a good night's sleep. Getting enough sleep can help stabilize a person's mood, maintain a healthy metabolism and improve cognitive abilities. While studies show that less than half of Americans get the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, many appear to at least be taking the importance of sleep more seriously. According to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 76 percent of Americans get what they consider a good night's sleep at least a few nights a week. The average person apparently gets 6 hours and 45 minutes of sleep on work nights and 7 hours and 35 minutes on weekends and other non-work nights.

So, what exactly makes for a good night's sleep? It turns out that while that answer varies slightly from person to person, many of the answers are what one might expect. 74 percent of people say that the most important element of their sleep experience is a quiet room. Other important elements include a dark room, a cool temperature, fresh air that is free of allergens and a clean bedroom. Three in 10 people say that a relaxing bath or shower before bed helps them fall asleep, and 12 percent of people say that they use prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids to help them fall asleep.

The Right Mattress and Other Bedroom Products

Many respondents to the NSF's sleep survey claimed that certain bedroom products played important roles in a good night's sleep. Over nine out of 10 respondents said that a good mattress is essential to a good night's sleep, and it would appear that a poor-quality mattress is a major cause of restless nights. Four out of 10 respondents report tossing and turning at night and being unable to fall asleep because of their mattresses, and one-fourth claimed that they had problems sleeping because of a partner who would toss and turn. Other mattress-related issues that interfered with people's sleep include sagging in the middle or edges of the mattress, a lack of support for the neck and back, mattresses that aren't big enough and mattress material that shifts around at night. Respondents who sleep with partners claim that their mattress is comfortable for them but not their partner, while more people still claim that they cannot find a comfortable temperature when trying to fall asleep.

Other bedroom products apparently play a major role in getting a good night's sleep. 70 percent of people have said that their pillows have an impact on how well they sleep, and 53 percent have said that the right sheets make a big difference. However, the quality of sleep apparently doesn't come into play very often when choosing bedroom products, since 73 percent of respondents report choosing their bedroom products based on how livable they make their bedrooms when they're not sleeping, and half of all respondents reported choosing pillows and sheets based on how they will look to visitors.

This survey from the National Sleep Foundation shows that there is a lot more to getting a good night's sleep than simply having a bed and a quiet room. The sleep habits of the average person are clearly more complicated than many people realize, but the more we know about our sleep patterns, the close we can get to achieving the healthiest possible sleep patterns.

This article was contributed by Samantha,, health nut, weekend hiker, and local farmer’s market volunteer…not to mention a lover of a good night’s sleep. Samantha recommends Apnix Sleep Diagnostics for anyone struggling to get the restful sleep they deserve.

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