A restful sleep - 10 tips to sleep better
We spend about a third of our lives sleeping. That sounds like a lot, but it's not. This time is important for recharging our batteries, regenerating and recharging our energy. The body reacts very sensitively to irregularities in this natural rhythm. Lack of sleep has a negative effect on concentration and performance. In the long term, this can cause mood swings and health problems due to metabolic disorders. These tips will help you fall asleep well and wake up refreshed.
Sleep well - that's why the recovery phase is so important
The REM and NREM phases are the two basic stages in sleep. REM sleep accounts for about 20 percent of the total sleep phase. In vivid dreams, experiences and adventures from everyday life are processed. REM stands for rapid eye movement. The NREM (non rapid eye movement) phase consists of two light and two deep sleep phases.
During these phases, bodily functions and the central nervous system exhibit different levels of activity. Both phases are important for physical recovery. The digestive tract and muscles are less active during sleep, and blood pressure drops. The brain is more active as it performs repair work during sleep. Heavily used nerve cells are shut down and can regenerate. These tips for healthy and restful sleep will help avoid the negative effects of sleep deprivation.
1. The perfect sleep routine
The alternation of day and night influences the sleep rhythm. In the evening, it becomes darker and quieter. We perceive this change via our nerve cells. Nerve signals change the hormone levels in the body. Sleep-promoting hormones such as melatonin are increasingly released. The result: we become tired.
The body is ready for a restful sleep. Listen to your body and don't try to counteract fatigue. Regular sleeping hours are especially important for a healthy biorhythm. The situation is more complicated for people who work shifts. This is a particular challenge because shift work clashes with the natural internal clock. Optimal shift scheduling and sleep-promoting measures at home are particularly important.
2. Making the bedroom a haven of peace
Many people suffer from sleep disorders. Distractions and restlessness aggravates this situation. Arrange the bedroom so that it becomes a place of relaxation and tranquility. Televisions and distracting light sources should be avoided. The sleep hormone melatonin is produced in the dark. Therefore, rigorously ban cold LED lights and other sources of disturbance from the bedroom.
3. The perfect indoor climate
A temperature of 16 to 18°C provides the perfect sleeping climate. Those who freeze quickly sleep optimally at 20°C. Air that is too dry stresses the mucous membranes of the mouth and nose. The ideal humidity level is around 40 to 60 percent. Air the room for about 15 minutes before going to bed to ensure the best possible indoor climate. Fresh air increases well-being and thus also sleep quality. Used air, which is rich in carbon dioxide, is let out.
4. Deceleration - rituals help you fall asleep
Regular rhythms have a positive effect on the quality of sleep. If possible, always try to eat and sleep at the same times. This way your body gets used to the daily routine and you can switch off more easily. Relaxing music, an audio book or writing in a diary are among the tried and tested rituals for falling asleep.
A warm glass of milk with honey or a soothing herbal or lavender tea can promote sleep. And, most importantly, avoid ruminations, as they prevent you from falling asleep. Try to find out which ritual helps you to leave the stress of everyday life behind.
5. The right diet
What mom already said is still true today: No heavy meals in the evening! The increased stomach and intestinal activity makes it much more difficult to fall asleep. Do not drink caffeinated beverages such as coffee, cola or black tea in the evening. And alcohol, if possible, only in moderation.
Our tip: Some foods contain melatonin. This hormone helps you fall asleep. These include plant-based foods such as cranberries or pistachios. The building blocks for melatonin production are also obtained from foods. A diet rich in tryptophans and vitamin B6 is conducive to the production of the "sleep hormone." To this end, meat, cheese, legumes, nuts, eggs, potatoes, green vegetables and whole grains should be on the menu.
6. Herbal sleep aids
Various plant extracts have a sleep-promoting effect. You can take these in the form of dietary supplements or teas. Hops are a well-known classic. The climbing plant has a calming and sleep-promoting effect. Lavender contains linalool and linalyl acetate. Both substances have a sleep-inducing effect. Lavender tea, dietary supplements or a bath with lavender essential oil is helpful.
Melatonin, which you can take in with your food, has proved particularly effective. However, to ensure a sufficient and sleep-promoting supply, you should take melatonin as a dietary supplement with maximum bioavailability.
7.Activities and light sports
Sufficient exercise during the day ensures tiredness in the evening. Whether you prefer a workout at the gym or go for a jog, exercising is helpful for a healthy and restful sleep. However, avoid working out right before bed. Then your nervous system is not in balance and you are still too "amped up" to sleep restfully. So in the evening, walks and relaxing activities are better suited to find rest.
8. The base for restful sleep: The right mattress
If you wake up feeling tired in the morning, you should check your mattress. A mattress that is too saggy, too hard or too soft will affect the quality of your sleep. Tension is the result.
The right slatted frame and a mattress that are adapted to your own body shape and sleeping needs ensure maximum comfort. Some mattress manufacturers or furniture stores offer to test a mattress for a certain period of time - so it's worth comparing offers here.
9. Switch smartphone to night mode
If you have trouble falling asleep, you can easily get distracted. The smartphone rings, you quickly glance at the e-mail or message, and you're already tired - you can prevent this situation with night mode.
The cell phone will no longer alert you with push messages. In addition, the mode reduces the short-wave blue light, which inhibits the production of melatonin. Of course, it's even better not to leave your cell phone near the bed in the first place, so you won't be tempted to play with it before you fall asleep.
10. Create a quiet environment
A no-brainer: noise disturbs natural sleep. Avoid loud music and stirring activities. If your apartment is on a busy street, close your windows at night. Mediation exercises or relaxation music can help you fall asleep. In addition, earplugs are a good solution in a noisy environment.
Sleep better: melantonin & other dietary supplements
If you just can't get any rest at night, you can try nutritional supplements. Supplements to sleep better are a good solution. Herbal remedies containing lemon balm, passion flower, valerian, hops, hemp or lavender can promote good sleep.
Vitamins and micronutrients support healthy sleep. If these are not sufficiently absorbed through food, vitamin supplements can be a useful addition to promote sleep. The amino acid L-tryptophan provides the basic building block for sleep hormones such as serotonin and melatonin. This can be taken in with food and as a dietary supplement. The sleep hormone melatonin is the counterpart of cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone. As soon as it gets dark, it is released by the body.
Meanwhile, there are drugs and dietary supplements with melatonin. Capsules, sprays, teas and melatonin drops are available. Depending on the product variant, the substance enters the bloodstream via the intestines or mucous membranes. The products are intended to help you fall asleep quickly by eliminating a possible melatonin deficiency.
Healthy sleep is important
Sleep better - that's what many people who suffer from sleep disorders wish for. Good sleep is the basic prerequisite for us to function - both on a physical and psychological level. Restful sleep not only puts us in a good mood, but also helps us regenerate and heal from illnesses. In the morning we wake up with new energy.
However, be careful not to put yourself under pressure if you have sleep problems. Rest, sleep rituals, the right mattress, a healthy diet and a perfect room climate support restful sleep. If these tips don't help you and you can't get restful sleep in the long term, doctors and specially trained therapists can help you.