A Dutch sleep research (Hersenstichting, 2017) has shown we don’t sleep good enough. We can’t sleep in, use sleep medications and can’t wake up easily. This can lead to both psychical as physical health problems. So we should do something about it! We would like to help you sleep better with these tips.
What you do in a day has an effect on how well you sleep. Make sure you have the right balance of work and relaxation. When you haven’t been that active during the day, you won’t be tired during the night. So if you feel you haven’t been as active, you could add a work out to your day.
But also when you don’t rest in between work, your body will react. You will feel tired during the day and restless during nights. So don’t forget to take breaks, go for a walk, stretch, read a book, watch tv or do some mindfulness exercises.
You body has a circadian rhythm, which is a brain structure that regulates sleeping and waking. Irregular sleeping times can disturb the sleeping- and waking system, which prevents you from falling asleep. So try to set regular sleeping times so that your circadian rhythm can stabilize. In the weekends you can sleep in a little, but no more than 1,5 hours.
Don’t be active before you go to sleep and avoid caffeine. Avoid screens like the television, laptop or mobile phone. If that doesn’t work for you, at least dim the screens.
Worrying at night
Do you often worry about something during the night which stops you from falling asleep? Then plan a moment to worry before bed. Write down all your problems and find solutions for them. Write down the pros and cons of these solutions and decide which one is the best. Try not to worry anymore after this. However, if worries come up, take the time to write them down before you try to sleep again.
Use your bedroom only for sleeping. Leave the bedroom if you can’t fall asleep and come back when you feel sleepy or keep a time in mind you want to get back.
Also little adjustments can help you fall asleep easier. For example the lighting, because your body can’t make melatonin in a light room. Melatonin is a hormone which makes you feel sleepy. So keep your room as dark as possible! Also noise can keep you awake. So buy earbuds if you live in a noisy environment. The room’s temperature should be around 17 degrees Celsius and also ventilation is needed for a good night sleep.
A vicious circle
If you experienced insomnia for a longer time, you can get restless and anxious. This unrest can stop you from falling asleep, which then again makes the unrest worse. You get stuck in a vicious circle and it’s hard to get out.
So try to stay positive after some bad nights of sleep and don’t make the problem worse as it is. Well, you didn’t sleep well this night, but that doesn’t mean your day is worth nothing. Make the most of it!
Goal: Activate the ‘Sleep Goal’ and try to maintain regular sleeping times to stabilize your circadian rhythm.