One third of our lifetime we oversleep. Vertane time? Not at all! Sleep is vital for body and soul. But what can we do when the night’s sleep is coming?
Do you know this: In the evenings in bed, you roll back and forth restlessly and with every waking minute the stress level rises. After all, we know that we need our sleep. While we are slumbering, important processes take place in our body and we process the impressions of the day. Those who sleep too little increase their risk for colds, but also for overweight, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. But how much sleep do we need anyway? This is genetically predetermined – between six and ten hours per night. After a stressful week, we can make up for lost sleep at the weekend, but “sleeping in” does not work.
What is your sleep like? With a sleep diary (for example, at www.dgsm.de), you can keep track and recognize sleep disturbing habits. Often, the inventory also brings the realization that you sleep more than you thought – a great relief for those affected. The prerequisites for good sleep are already created during the day: Try to reduce stress and get up at the same time every day – so your inner clock stays in tact. Avoid a nap, be active and do sports. But better not right before going to bed, because movement also puts on.
In the evening, an easily digestible meal should be on the table, caffeine or alcohol after 15 o’clock robs many people of sleep. Who wakes up at night because of a full bladder, waives a few hours before going to bed on too much hydration.
Quiet evening rituals can help our body switch to relaxation. This can be a short walk, a warm shower, classical music or hot milk with honey. We should go to bed only when we are really tired. And the bed is reserved for sleeping. TV, laptop and mobile phone should not distract you. Provide cuddly linens and a comfortable mattress to make the dormitory a place of well-being: well ventilated, not too warm (17 to 18 degrees) and quiet (if necessary, ear plugs to help with street noise or snoring partner). With curtains or blinds you can provide darkness. If you leave a small gap open, the first daylight gently wakes you in the morning.
Often rob us, as soon as we lie in the springs, heavy thoughts sleep. Since the classic sheep counting (like in French from 100 backwards) in his monotony can help breaking through the brooding. Even with a nice counter image (set up your dream home or imagine a holiday idyll) can stop the negative chain of thought. Or learn relaxation techniques like autogenic training and progressive muscle relaxation. Another tip: If you take time during the day for a summary (perhaps as a diary entry) and the to-do list of the next day, you do not have to worry about this.
Do you belong to those who wake up at night and do not find peace again? Then avoid looking at the clock, it makes you even more nervous. Instead of lying awake for a long time, get up and read a bit. The light should remain dimmed.
There are smartphone apps that analyze sleep. Some help with meditative melodies when falling asleep or promise gentle awakening in the appropriate sleep phase. Fitness bracelets can also be used as a sleep tracker. In the morning, light alarms slowly increase the light intensity, and some also have a fall asleep mode with pulsating light. Health insurance companies also offer online sleep training.
Sleeping pills should be used only in exceptional situations, for a limited time and after medical consultation. They often have side effects and can make you dependent. It is more successful to find and eliminate the cause of sleep problems. But we should beware of making our night’s sleep an ever-present topic. Do not worry about the problems of falling asleep, but break the vicious circle with serenity. This is rewarded – with better sleep!
Valerian, hops and melissa contain calming agents and can improve sleep quality. St. John’s wort can lighten the mood. Whether as tea, tablets or drops: the herbal remedies should be sufficiently high-dosed. And it may take two to four weeks for it to take effect.