Improving the Quality of Sleep

Are you getting enough sleep? Are you getting quality sleep?

Most of us need around 8 hours of good-quality sleep a night to feel and perform at our best. Some will need more and some less. This can depend on factors such as age, health, and lifestyle.

There are lots of factors that can cause poor sleep. Some of these include: stress and anxiety, drinking too much alcohol/caffeine, a poor sleeping environment, disturbance from children or partners, bad sleeping habits, or medical factors. Find out more here

The effects of a lack of sleep are well known and many of us will have experienced these at one time or another during our lives.

Some of these effects include feeling irritable and moody, difficulty concentrating and staying alert, and not being able to work properly. Aside from these, prolonged sleep deprivation can have consequences for your physical health as well.

If any of this resonates with you, it's time to look at your sleep habits.

Click on the button below to calculate your sleep score and find out how you can improve your sleep.

Calculate Your Sleep Score
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Benefits of good sleep quality

Are you getting enough sleep? Are you getting quality sleep?

Sharper Brain Without enough sleep, it's tough to focus and take in new information. Your brain also doesn't have enough time to properly store memories so you can pull them up later. Sleep lets your brain catch up so you're ready for what's next.
Mood Boost Another thing that your brain does while you sleep is process your emotions. Your mind needs this time in order to recognize and react the right way. Refreshing slumber helps you hit the reset button on a bad day, improve your outlook on life, and be better prepared to meet challenges.
Healthier Heart While you sleep, your blood pressure goes down, giving your heart and blood vessels a bit of a rest. The less sleep you get, the longer your blood pressure stays up during a 24-hour cycle. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, including stroke.
Steadier Blood Sugar During the deep, slow-wave part of your sleep cycle, the amount of glucose in your blood drops. Not enough time in this deepest stage means you don't get that break to allow a reset -- like leaving the volume turned up.
Germ Fighting Ongoing lack of sleep changes the way your immune cells work. They may not attack as quickly, and you could get sick more often. Good nightly rest can help you avoid that tired, worn-out feeling, as well as spending days in bed as your body tries to recover.
Weight Control When you're well-rested, you're less hungry. Being sleep-deprived messes with the hormones in your brain -- leptin and ghrelin -- that control appetite.
* This information about sleep benefits is from WebMD

Side effects of poor sleep quality

The effects of poor sleep can be serious and far-reaching. The long-term effects of sleep deprivation are proven. It drains your mental abilities and puts your physical health at real risk. Science has linked poor slumber with a number of health problems, from weight gain to a weakened immune system.

* This information about the side effects of poor sleep is from Healthline and Sleep Foundation

Difficulty concentrating and staying alert

When you are suffereing from a lack of sleep you will find it hard to concentrate on things like work and even simple tasks. You may feel tired during the day or when performing activities such as driving which can put yourself and others at risk.

Memory issues

During sleep, the brain forms connections and helps you process and remember new things. A lack of sleep can hinder ths process and impact both your long and short term memory.

More Accident prone

Being drowsy can increase your risk of accidents either from being to tired too concentrate and respond to stimulus ie. driving a car, or you may be prone to take more risks, as you arent able to asses the situation properly. A lack of sleep can also affect your balance and coordination which again may make you more prone to accidents.

Feeling irritable and moody

A lack of sleep can make you, moody , emotional and short tempered.

A person is asleep at  their desk.


The chemicals which signal to your brain that you are full are affected by lack of sleep, which is just one of several ways that poor sleep may be tied to obesity and problems with maintaining a healthy weight.


Sleep deficiency has been shown to lead to worsened immune function, making you more suceptable to getting illnesses, including a poorer response to vaccines.

Other Health Risks

The cardiovascular system: Lack of sleep may lead to increased blood pressure and higher levels of inflammation and increases your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes: Lack of sleep efects the bodys release of insulin.People who do not get enough sleep have higher blood sugar levels and an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Mental health disorders: Sleep and mental health are closely intertwined, and poor sleep has strong associations with conditions like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

How to improve sleep quality

Top tips to get to sleep and sleep better

If you're having sleep problems, there are simple steps you can take to ease those restless nights.

Keep regular sleep hours

Going to bed when you feel tired and getting up at roughly the same time helps teach your body to sleep better. Try to avoid napping where possible.

Create a restful environment

Dark, quiet and cool environments generally make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Watch our video for tips on how to sleep better.

Move more, sleep better

Being active can help you sleep better. These videos can get you going, but remember to avoid vigorous activity near bedtime if it affects your sleep.

Confront sleeplessness

If you are lying awake unable to sleep, do not force it. Get up and do something relaxing for a bit, and return to bed when you feel sleepier.

Write down your worries

If you often lie awake worrying about tomorrow, set aside time before bed to make a list for the next day. This can help put your mind at rest.

Put down the pick-me-ups

Caffeine and alcohol can stop you falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Try to cut down on alcohol and avoid caffeine close to bedtime.

*Sleeping tips are from the NHS's "Every Mind Matters" resource. You can also find a sleeping tips video sleeping tips video .

Calculate your sleep score

Calculator questions are from the NHS Sleep Self-Assessment

Additional Help & Resources

Exercising for better sleep

Johns Hopkins Medicine

How to get to sleep

National Health Service

Tips to improve your sleep

Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Remember to speak to your doctor if you're concerned about your sleep!