Getting to sleep can sometimes be complicated: stress, accumulated nervous fatigue, bad eating habits, many factors can disrupt the quality of your sleep. The ideal length of a night is above all the one that makes you wake up feeling good the next morning. Discover the advice of doctors on Healthlinerx to sleep well and regain quality sleep.
Why is it important to sleep well?
Sleeping well at night has many benefits for our physical health, but also for our mental health :
- rest: a good night’s sleep allows the body to recover after the many activities of the day;
- assimilation of knowledge and memory: the brain needs quality rest time in order to restore its capacities, and sleeping well allows it to better memorize new knowledge;
- energy saving: when we sleep, our oxygen consumption decreases, our heart rate slows down, our body temperature drops and our body therefore burns fewer calories.
How to sleep well?
Are you having trouble falling asleep and wondering how to fall asleep? Here are some good habits to put in place in order to sleep peacefully.
Do not fight against the signs of sleep and respect your rhythm
The human body is fortunately well made: moist eyes, tingling sensation or yawning are all signals that your body sends you so that you respect your circadian rhythm (alternating wakefulness/sleep) and that you go to bed. The more you struggle with these signs of fatigue , the more you are out of step with your body’s natural rhythm and may have trouble falling asleep. Similarly, once you wake up the next morning, it is useless to stay too long in bed: this could disturb your rhythm again and slow down your sleep in the evening.
Watch your eating habits
Consumption of coffee and tea
Some drinks contain stimulants, such as caffeine, which can prevent you from sleeping well. This is the case, for example, with tea, coffee, certain sodas and energy drinks. Be sure to consume them in moderation, and prefer a herbal tea at the end of the day.
Avoid overeating before going to sleep
Food plays a crucial role in the quality of your rest: good sleep is also based on a varied and balanced diet. Heavy meals in the evening delay falling asleep, and going to bed with a full stomach can promote heartburn . Try to eat dinner at regular times, preferably at least 2 hours before bedtime, and avoid overeating. Finally, watch your alcohol consumption : if it helps you fall asleep, it disrupts the sleep cycle and makes snoring worse .
Exercise at a suitable time
Exercise can help you sleep! It promotes physical fatigue and generates the secretion of endorphins, neurotransmitters known to fight against stress and release tension. Sport therefore improves the quantity but also the quality of your sleep. Regular physical activity is recommended. On the other hand, major physical exertion should be avoided at least 4 hours before bedtime because it delays falling asleep.
Adopt the micro nap
If, like one in five French people, you are prone to drowsiness during the day, you can try taking a micro nap. To be effective, these moments of rest must not exceed 20 minutes and must take place before 3 p.m. Well practiced, the micro nap helps to promote concentration and will not prevent you from falling asleep at night.
Limit your time in front of screens and avoid screens in bedrooms
The blue light from screens (telephones, computers, televisions, etc.) is very bright. It sends an awakening signal to the brain which prevents the secretion of melatonin, and therefore delays falling asleep. Just like activities that are too stimulating, avoid screens before bed.
Establish a regular bedtime ritual
Everyone has different sleep needs, but getting to bed at regular times helps your body get into a rhythm and helps you fall asleep. Try to find the bedtime ritual that suits you: for example, you can read a book, do some breathing exercises, relaxation or meditation, or listen to soothing music or sounds. The main thing is to find the practice that suits you and that you will not get tired of.
Maintain a cool temperature in your room
At bedtime, the brain naturally lowers our body temperature to help us fall asleep. A cool room with a temperature below 20ºC puts our body in condition to start the sleep process.
Book your bed for the night
The bedroom should be a quiet, well-ventilated place, with soft light, and clean: it is a space reserved for sleep and intimacy. Also be sure to invest in good bedding: we spend an average of 26 years of our lives sleeping, so it is necessary to equip yourself with a good mattress and good pillows!
Focus on the quality rather than the quantity of sleep
If the usual duration of a night varies between 7h and 8h30, there are different profiles of sleepers. Our sleep quantity needs vary according to our genetic profile. But it doesn’t matter the quantity if the quality is not there. Different criteria allow you to recognize quality sleep: you took less than 30 minutes to fall asleep, you did not wake up more than once during the night, and if you ever woke up, you never didn’t stay more than 20 minutes.
See a mental health professional
It is possible that your sleep disturbances are due to psychological problems. Anxiety , marital , family, or professional problems: in order to find or find sleep quickly, do not hesitate to speak to your doctor or to a doctor on Livi if this one is not available. Consulting a psychiatrist or psychologist will allow you to identify and understand what causes these disorders, and then to modify the factors and behaviors that cause them.
What to do when you can’t sleep?
But then, how to sleep when you can’t? If despite all these tips, you are still struggling to fall asleep, don’t panic: it is normal to sometimes have difficulty falling asleep. You can try reading in soft light, or doing a relaxing activity, such as breathing exercises.
On the other hand, if your insomnia persists, it is important to consult quickly: a general practitioner can help you identify the underlying causes and will advise you on how best to manage them and once again access real restful sleep.
In some cases, he can refer you to psychological care, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or medication, such as taking sleeping pills. But beware: a sleeping pill is not an innocuous drug. It can be used if needed to treat events related to life difficulties, but it is prescribed for a limited time. Beyond 4 weeks, its effectiveness is reduced and taking sleeping pills can present risks (decreased alertness, fall, etc.).