Being able to understand how sleep functions can help us to actively help ourselves. Our sleep tips include a range of background information which will help to make your sleep the best type of rest possible and will help you to successfully improve your sense of wellbeing.
Simply switch off
You can only expect to sleep well if you don’t take your smartphone to bed. The omnipresence of digital devices truly brings our circadian rhythm into disarray. Blue light emitted by screens causes us to fall asleep later and means that the REM phase, which is particularly important for our psychological wellbeing, is much less intense. It is wise to set electronic devices to airplane mode or to switch them off completely. Treat yourself to a good night’s sleep – your body will thank you for it.
The right room temperature
A room temperature of 16°C to 18°C is considered to be optimal. Our body uses up less energy during the night and cools down and room temperature should be adjusted accordingly. If it is too warm or too cold, we end up sweating or freezing. It is not possible to enjoy restful sleep in these conditions. There are simple ways to regulate room temperature: Air the room thoroughly early in the morning and before you go to sleep. Keep the window closed and shaded during the day. A breathable mattress is also recommended as well as suitable bed covers to suit the season.
A nightcap works wonders
The most important thing that can help us sleep is to relax in a conscious way. A warm drink during the evening helps us to pause, to reflect on the day and to become sleepy. Melissa, chamomile, valerian and lavender have a calming effect and also relieve stomach complaints. Many people like to include a cup of warm milk in their evening ritual. You could also add a dash of honey to sweeten the milk as this has a relaxing effect. It is a good idea to avoid adding cocoa to your milk as cocoa powder contains caffeine which is a stimulant.
Plan the next day
Do you sometimes get all worked up because you have taken on too much? It is a good idea to write down the things you have not managed to achieve during the day. This will help to clear your head, to keep on top of things and avoid stress before you get into bed. Think about what you need to deal with first the next morning, how much time you will need to accomplish it and whether you can plan in a buffer. You should then put your list of tasks to the side which will enable you to fall asleep without having to fret.
Start the evening in a relaxed state of mind
The body needs to consciously unwind after the stresses and strains of the day. Plan some time during the evening for you; perhaps potter around the garden for a while, read a book or play a game. Specific relaxation exercises can also help you to fall asleep. Do you know which relaxation techniques would suit you? Yoga, meditation or progressive muscle relaxation can work real wonders and act as excellent counter-balancing activities to your normal daily routines. Stress hormones, such as adrenaline, are reduced and anti-stress hormones, such as serotonin, are secreted. Sleepiness is induced all by itself.
Start the day feeling refreshed
All being well, you will have enjoyed a restful night’s sleep. It is now time to wake up your sleepy head. Open the curtains and the window and let light and fresh air into the room. Oxygen helps your body to get going and daylight will also help to lift to your mood. To keep the momentum going throughout the day and to get your day off to a good start, try to observe the following tips:
- Avoid any stress by considering what you planned the night before, what you need for the coming day and then get everything ready.
- Allow enough time for a substantial breakfast that includes enough fibre, protein and vitamins. This will recharge your batteries and will enable you to be focused and efficient during the hours to come.
- Start your day with some exercise such as some morning exercises, a walk or a short bike ride to work. This will help to get your circulation moving and provides your brain with plenty of oxygen.
- Are you usually grumpy in the mornings? If you find getting up difficult, you could think about ways to reward yourself. Treat yourself to your favourite bread roll from the bakery, make yourself a delicious smoothie or make time to read some of the morning paper. Now the day can begin!