Sleep is just as important as oxygen, water and food to humans. During sleep we “recharge” our batteries, body and soul recover, the immune system is strengthened, cells in skin, tissue and muscles are renewed and our memory is “plunged”. Ideally, after a good night’s sleep, we wake up fresh, rested and fit the next morning. Unfortunately, this is not the case of many people who suffer from insomnia. They either find it difficult to fall asleep in the evening or they have trouble staying asleep. For those who are wondering “ How can you sleep better?” we have the following 7 proven tips & tricks that help to a restful night’s sleep .
For those who suffer from poor sleep for no apparent reason (e.g. relationship problems, stress at work or a brooding phase of life), medical consultation is advised. The family doctor can clarify whether there are physical causes for the problem.
Sleep with planning
Sleep has a lot to do with our body clock. It follows an individual sleep-wake rhythm that we can “re-program” and thus adjust it. Regardless of whether you are a night owl or an early bird, a personal sleep plan can help you fall asleep better and sleep through the night. The trick: if possible, always go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time in the morning. This strengthens your own sleep-wake rhythm, body and mind get used to it and you sleep much better. After all, humans are creatures of habit.
Sport for tiredness
Physical activity promotes a good night’s sleep, especially for those who sit in the office all day. A little exercise helps the body to get a bit tired. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a power workout; a short walk, yoga exercise or a gentle Pilates workout is enough to relax and kick off the evening after work.
Helpful home remedies for a better sleep
Who can tell any traditional tips for a good night’s sleep? A glass of hot milk with honey is probably the classic here. But it really helps. Or a cup of warm cocoa. Both make you full, relax and help to calm down. The same applies to a delicious, calming herbal tea.
A warm bath can also help, because the cozy warmth relaxes the body and makes it really tired.
Other sleep aids that can be found in almost every medicine chest are magnesium and valerian. Magnesium inhibits the release of stress hormones and thus leads to better, more relaxed sleep. Valerian is also an effective home remedy. It has a calming effect, helps to fall asleep and improves the quality of sleep.
Ritual to falling asleep
Relaxing bedtime rituals are also good for sleep, as they signal to the body and mind that it is almost time to go to bed and help you switch off. Ideally, you get in the mood for a good night’s sleep about an hour before you go to sleep. This works particularly well with a warm bath and a drink, a little meditation or reading in a relaxed, calm atmosphere.
Exciting, disturbing films should be avoided, as well as using smartphones or laptops. Overstimulation and the “blue light” of these devices make it difficult to calm down. It is better to lie down comfortably in bed, dim the light and let the healing power of nature work on you. Lavender is a well-known helper here, because it relaxes, calms and exudes a positive, mood-enhancing effect. And its good smell calms body and mind and creates the mood for the approaching bedtime.
Stress, disturbing thoughts, fears, worries and doubts are real sleep killers. This is where it distract yourself. The best thing to do is to use simple drowsy thoughts like the good old “sheep counting”, to distract yourself with your own imagination and wonderful memories, for example of your last vacation, or to concentrate on your own breath. This directs your attention away from daily stress and awake thoughts and you can relax and switch off better. If you can’t stop your carousel of thoughts: put a piece of paper and pen next to you and write down everything that must not be forgotten and must be done. That can calms you down.
Eat and drink it right
Good sleep also comes from the stomach. This is why you should avoid heavy (and late) meals in the evening. Because instead of going into sleep mode, the body is too busy digesting. Better to eat something lighter a little earlier. Alcohol may help you falling asleep, but it disrupts sleep through the night. So a glass of wine with your meal could be a good idea, and that should be enough.
Take it easy
To wrap up the issue of How to sleep better?, we would say just accepting the fact that there are good and bad nights. Not every night has to be a good one, sometimes you sleep worse. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. There will be better nights again. Just relax and trust it and sleep will come. We wish you a good night.
Alexander Helm is a licensed pharmacist (Martin-Luther University) and the founder of Casida. His vision is to combine pharmaceutical know-how and natural remedy into natural health products, and leverage the power of nature to improve human health.