A light sleeper is a person who wakes up easily due to small changes in their environment (e.g. sounds, light or smells). Being a light sleeper can make it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep because a person wakes up frequently and does not enter the deeper levels of sleep.
Boffins have found there are many factors affect a person’s threshold for waking up, including; the amount of time they spend awake during the day, the stage of sleep and brain activity during the sleep stage and finally a person’s level of vigilance before they went to sleep, e.g. a person who is anxious when going to sleep may wake up more easily than someone who is relaxed.
There are a number of sleep habits that can help a light sleeper get a better night’s, deeper sleep, examples include:
- be consistent – get up and go to bed the same time each day
- exercising for at least 20 minutes a day, preferably not in the evening
- ensure the bedroom is kept dark and cool
- avoid using electronics in the bedroom e.g. mobile phones
- avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed, these can affect your depth of sleep and increase wakefulness
- meditate or practice relaxation before bed to help you unwind and feel less anxious
- listen to white noise or soft music while asleep to provide a consistent stimulus, so you are less likely to be responsive to other sounds while sleeping
- wear an eye mask or use black-out curtains, to block out any light
Little changes can make all the difference, give them a try. Good luck.