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What Decides the Quality and Duration of our Sleep

There are actually just 4 major factors which decide:

  • How well we sleep
  • How long we sleep

These factors are:

  • The length of being awake
  • The temperature of our body
  • What times we are used to sleeping
  • Noises and other interferences around us

The length of being awake

The best results are when you have been awake for 16 hours before the moment when you are trying to sleep. If you have only been awake for only 10 hours for example then even if you fall asleep the duration and quality of the sleep would be reduced.

The temperature of our body

John Winkelman, of Sleep HealthCenters, explains how circadian rhythm works

Our body cools down for the night and heats up during the day with around 6-7 p.m. being the time when our body has the highest temperature. So the best time to go to sleep is just when the body starts to cool down for the night.

The times we are used to going to sleep

Our habits dictate our future. If we always go to sleep at a certain time then our body will learn this and have problems doing something different. So if you go party or have some other social engagement and one day you stay up and disturb your circadian rhythm then you will have problems to do with the quality and duration of your sleep for several days.

Our body prefers and is evolved to prefer consistency every day.

Environment around us

Finally this is a factor which we sometimes have control over and sometimes not. If there is a construction or loud music, etc this does not facilitate trying to go to sleep, but there are many things you can control such as:

  • Dimming down the lights when it gets close to bed time
  • Using ear plugs if needed
  • Discussing with noisy neighbour and finding a solution
  • Avoiding stimulants and exciting things right before bed time