We all put a lot of emphasis on how much sleep we’re getting, but how often do we consider whether that sleep was actually restorative? In fact, what does “restorative sleep” truly mean? That’s what a team of researchers wanted to figure out, in a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Sleep—here’s what they found.
What actually is “restorative sleep” and are people really getting it?
For this study, a team of researchers wanted to come up with a definitive explanation of restorative sleep. They then analyzed the restorative sleeping scores of a large sample of American adults, in order to determine whether people are actually getting restorative sleep.
According to the team, restorative sleep can be defined as “an aspect of sleep that is indicative of the restoration of positive daytime characteristics, such as improved mood, energy, and wellbeing.” Other factors at play, they note, include alertness and cognitive function.
Based on their analysis, it would appear way fewer people than originally thought are getting restorative sleep, at least in the U.S.
Just 28.1% of the subjects achieved high restorative sleep scores, meaning 71.9% did not. “Whereas, previous nationally representative data has found markers of sleep health, such as sufficient sleep duration, in two thirds of US adults, our findings indicate that less than one third of U.S. adults received high scores for restorative sleep,” the study authors write.
How to get more restorative sleep.
Knowing so many people aren’t actually getting the most out of their nightly snooze, you might be wondering what to do about it, so allow us to offer our top sleep tips.
For one thing, understanding your own sleep chronotype can help you figure out what your optimal bedtime (and wake time) is, plus how to schedule your day, to suit your natural circadian rhythm. And speaking of circadian rhythm, the best way to keep it in check is by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
Along with that, it’s so important to have a bedroom conducive to sleep (aka one that’s quiet, dark, and cool), as well as keeping up with basic sleep hygiene like limiting blue light before bed, giving yourself plenty of time to unwind, and avoiding big meals and/or alcohol a few hours before bedtime.
With those bases covered, if you’re still waking up with lower energy than you’d like, you might want to consider a quality, non-hormonal sleep supplement, such as mbg’s sleep support+. The unique formula blends magnesium, jujube, and PharmaGABA®, for a supplement with ingredients proven to enhance sleep quality, support a healthy circadian rhythm, and help you fall asleep faster—all without morning grogginess.*
Sleep is essential to so many aspects of our health, but according to this study, a majority of us aren’t achieving restorative sleep. If you feel like you might be in that majority, these findings are one more reason to prioritize sleep hygiene, so you can wake up every day feeling your best.