Restorative sleep occurs when one has a deep and rejuvenating sleep, from which one emerges feeling renewed. Several phases of the sleep cycle must be completed for an individual to wake up feeling refreshed. Restful sleep requires deep sleep, often known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

Which parts of the sleep cycle aid rejuvenation the most?

The most rejuvenating stages of sleep are REM sleep and the third and fourth stages of non-REM sleep. Sleep can be broken down into four distinct phases designated by the letters N1, N2, N3, and REM. 

Warning signs of disturbed sleep

If you wake up feeling exhausted after having slept for an entire night, it’s safe to assume your slumber did not have a restorative effect on your body.

One study suggests the following additional signs may be suggestive of subpar sleep:

  • Feeling tired and exhausted all day long.
  • Being so exhausted that you need to take a nap in the middle of the day just to get through it.
  • Feelings of emotional transparency and openness.

What causes non-restorative sleep, and how can it be prevented?

Both lifestyle factors and preexisting illnesses might contribute to a poor sleep pattern that does not restore the body. 

The following are some examples of daily habits that could be hindering your ability to get quality slumber at night:

  • Tasks that require working overnight or in shifts.
  • Getting up multiple times through the night to tend to a newborn.
  • Constantly being on the go leaves you susceptible to jet lag.

A number of medical conditions, including depression and bipolar disorder, can also cause unrestorative sleep. It has been found that patients with non-restorative sleep symptoms typically experience sleep problems, leading to less-than-restorative sleep cycles. 

Tips for dealing with unrefreshing sleep

  • Adopt Healthier Sleep Habits
  • A quiet, dark, and comfortable place to get some shut-eye.
  • In a separate area, all electrical gadgets have been disabled.
  • Caffeine intake should taper off or be eliminated entirely later in the day.
  • Regular hours for sleeping.
  • Keep your wits about you.

Mindfulness practises like yoga and meditation can help you relax your mind and body, making it simpler to nod off before bedtime. 

Modify your way of life

Exercise and supplement use are two lifestyle factors that have been shown to enhance sleep quality. Exercising frequently and eating healthily have both been linked to better sleep. 

CBT refers to cognitive behavioural therapy.

Lack of restorative sleep has been related to mental health issues and the stressors of daily life. In order to get a better night’s sleep, talking to a therapist can help you identify the thoughts that are keeping you up and work through your feelings about them.

By Alexander James

Beau Alexander James: Beau, a mental health advocate, shares personal stories, coping strategies, and promotes mental health awareness and understanding.