Sleeping tips – no more counting sheep
Are you one of those people who falls asleep straight away in the evening or of those who are grateful for sleeping tips? If the latter, here are a few.
How do I fall asleep better?
There are people who lie like stones in bed in the morning. Hop out of bed in a good mood? Inconceivable – too many sheep hopped across the virtual meadow at night. Incidentally, this method fell through as a tip for insomniacs among sleep researchers at St. Anne’s College, Oxford University. The reason: Counting is way too stressful. A more relaxing mental cinema, such as a surging cornfield, gentle sea surf, or a rushing waterfall, is considered to be much more suitable.
If that doesn’t work either, we recommend the following:
- Exercise is good and strengthens sleep. But: Do not dance salsa to fiery music or do not do an intense run if you are not used to it. Because that makes tired bodies and spirits awake again.
- Eat as little as possible just before you go to bed. A small night snack won’t do any harm, but large and heavy meals are a hindrance to a good night’s sleep. So stay away from big greasy meals for dinner.
- Restraint is also called for when it comes to alcohol. You may fall asleep faster afterwards but wake up again faster – at the latest when beer or wine presses on the bladder.
- Invigorating drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, black tea, cocoa or cola, are rather taboo – especially if you know that you will not be able to sleep after drinking such drinks. On the other hand, tea made from lemon balm, Valerian, hops and lavender is recommended.
- Make yourself comfortable and make sure you have a bed in which you can feel comfortable and sleep well.
- Let fresh air into your bedroom before you go to bed. The room air should be fresh and cool, but not reminiscent of an ice cave either. A room temperature of a maximum of 18 degrees Celsius is ideal. Try to keep the noise and noise outside as it is guaranteed to keep you awake.
- Do not go to bed until you are really “ready for bed”. Relax before going to bed: bathing, listening to music, reading, chatting with your friend. If you decide to take a full bath: add lemon balm, hops, lavender or hay flowers to the water (35 to 38 °C, 10 to 20 minutes).
- Having sex before bedtime has different effects: men usually fall asleep well after sex, while women tend to be more active and far from being tired. How is it by you? Will it wake you up? Then you better postpone erotic bed games until the next morning.
- Find a book in your bookcase that you are guaranteed to know is boring. As soon as your eyes close, turn off the light. If you are awake within the next 30 minutes, get up again. Do something else. For example, you can sit down, read the newspaper or listen to music. Try sleeping again after half an hour.
- Always get up at the same time in the morning. Set an alarm clock and get up as quickly as possible, regardless of whether you went to bed late, slept poorly, or woke up with difficulty. You will get tired quickly and in good time in the evening. Your built-in sleep clock regulates itself in this way.
- Progressive muscle relaxation: With this method, a specific muscle is tensed for a short time and then relaxed again. This increases blood flow to the muscle. In the relaxation phase, this is felt as warmth flowing through. Body and mind come to rest and relax.
- And finally, grandma’s old recipe: warm milk with honey. Milk contains many proteins, including the amino acid tryptophan. It de-stresses and lets people slumber peacefully. If you only drink milk, various amino acids compete for entry into the brain. The sugar in honey releases insulin and the muscle absorbs a lot of amino acids. Tryptophan is left over and the way into the brain is free. The alternative would be a cup of low-fat yoghurt and a praline afterwards – don’t forget to brush your teeth.
Sleep tips for babies
Infants do not have a sleep-wake rhythm until they are around six months old, which corresponds to the alternation of day and night to some extent. The parents of babies and toddlers will almost certainly have to go out at night anyway. But there are a few things that help babies and young children sleep:
Make sure that your baby, from the age of six months, sleeps four hours before going to sleep for the last time. Then it’s tired in the evening. The bed should be the place to sleep. That means it is not played but crawled into it (or put in it by the parents) when tiredness comes. Try to establish a daily rhythm of play, eating and sleeping times that is as stable as possible.
Have a good night with these sleeping tips!
To find out more about the importance of a good night’s sleep for our health click here.