Want to Improve Your Sleep Efficiency? All You Need to Know About Sleep Latency
Sleep latency is the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep after you turn off the lights. Initially, you’re not supposed to take too long to fall asleep after you switch off the lights. The amount of time a person takes to sleep after switching off the lights directly affects their sleep debt and sleep efficiency. A solid night’s sleep is influenced by an ideal sleep.
How Sleep Latency is Related to Sleep Efficiency
An individual is considered sleep efficient if they spend most of their time in bed actually asleep. In this sense, sleep latency and sleep efficiency are directly related. Those considered sleep inefficient spend their time in bed not asleep.
85% sleep efficiency is what is considered normal. However, very good sleep efficiency is above 90%. If your sleep efficiency is lower than 85% then that’s very poor. If you are able to sleep quickly after switching off the lights then you will have an efficient sleep. Sleep latency and sleep efficiency go hand in hand.
How Sleep Debt Impacts Sleep Latency
Sleep debt also directly affects sleep latency because it is the overall effect of not sleeping enough. Sleep debt tends to accumulate overtime which eventually leads to physical and mental fatigue. People with a lot of sleep debt or are extremely tired tend to fall asleep quicker than a well-rested person or one who doesn’t have any sleep debt.
A person’s sleep latency is highly affected by their sleep debt. If you fall asleep after lying down immediately, that’s a sign of sleep debt. Sleep debt is a sign that you need to try and get as much sleep on a nightly basis.
Sleep Cycle and Sleep Latency
Like we stated earlier, to get a solid night’s sleep, you have to lay an ideal sleep latency foundation. A solid night’s sleep occurs in two stages. That is the rapid eye movement sleep and the non-rapid eye movement sleep.
REM sleep tends to be deeper than NREM sleep. The one they have in common is that they are directly affected by sleep latency. If you have a good sleep latency and you are able to fall asleep after a reasonable amount of time, then you have a better chance of progressing comfortably through the stages of sleep and enjoy a deep sleep in turn.
How to Curb Sleep Latency
By Shilpa Dhaygude
Avoid Sugar and Sweeteners
Many people who suffer from sleep latency tend to turn to comfort food because it helps them feel better. However, this does more harm than good. Eating foods made of processed sugars like cookies, candy, junk food, and sugary cereals may give you a temporary better because a small amount of dopamine is released.
However, when the sugar high wears off your state of mind will crush and you will feel lower than before. There are studies that show that consuming sugar increases your levels of sleep latency. By cutting down sugar, or getting alcohol addiction treatment,you might be giving yourself a chance of beating sleep latency.
Experience the Outdoors
Sometimes, social anxiety and sleep latency means that all you want to do is stay locked up in the house. You tend to avoid crowded places because you don’t feel like you are up for the task of having to meet people.
However, just making the attempt to go out even if its not so far away you will boost your emotions immensely. The Vitamin D from the sun and fresh air also go a long way in boosting how you feel.
When you are sleep deprived, you should make sure that you lay off alcohol. A beer or a glass of wine may help you feel by making you less anxious and more relaxed because alcohol is a major sleep depriver. It affects the part of your brain that controls anxiety, inhibition, and how you feel.
However, the more you drink, the more you are taking the sleeping pills into your system which will push you all the way into feeling more restless, low, and sleep deprived than when you started. If you have been fighting sleep latency for a while now, you should consider cutting off alcohol.
Have a Routine and Keep at It
When you are sleep deprived and doesn’t want to leave the house, sticking to a routine is that last thing you can think of doing. Ignoring your routine may seem like an easy way out but it will only make things worse for you.
It is okay if you want to take time off to implement ways to overcome sleep latency or practice self-care, but you need to keep track of your day-to-day routines. You need to make sure that you able to do simple stuff such as pay your bills, do your chores, and other stuff. If you let things pile up, you are going to be more sleep-deprived.
Sleep latency is directly affected by sleep efficiency and sleep debt which directly affects the sleep cycle. This means that the ideal solution to getting a solid sleep is by making sure you work around these influencers.
Needless to say, get rid of all distractions like your smartphone, laptop or TV. Make sure you also get enough and more sleep at night to avoid sleep debt. Listening to calming music or doing yoga before bed may also help you get an ideal amount of sleep. You need to make sure you are able to sleep quicker right after switching off the lights.