If you’re not able to sleep well, the reason could be poor sleep hygiene.
Our Healthpally sleep medicine experts have some tips on how to get restful sleep and explain what makes good sleep hygiene is.
There are many factors that affect our sleep. This is also because our consciousness is not completely switched off during sleep.
For example, we perceive pain, noise or brightness.
Unfortunately, this can have a massive impact on sleep quality.
One of the consequences of this is that we wake up the next morning and feel exhausted, still tired and simply unfit.
But the good news is that many sleep disorders can be improved by minimizing unfavorable factors such as noise, bright light or an uncomfortable sleeping environment.
If you create good sleep hygiene, you will be able to sleep better again. We’ll tell you how that works.
How sleep works: neurotransmitters and messenger substances
The brain influence our sleep-wake cycle by releasing certain messenger substances. The most important of these messengers are:
It has an activating effect on the brain and thus promotes alertness. Benzodiazepines can prevent the transport of norepinephrine to the forebrain.
In the case of serious insomnia, they can therefore be used as a sleep.
This is a substance that makes you tired. It’s poured out when we’ve been up late.
Adenosine inhibits the activating neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine.
Melatonin also promotes sleep. However, the formation of melatonin is inhibited by bright light.
That’s why we sleep better in the dark. Melatonin levels rise overnight, peaking around 3 a.m. As you age, your body produces less melatonin.
Melatonin itself is not a sedative, even if it ultimately has a similar effect.
Rather, it is a timer: increased levels of melatonin indicate that it is time to go to bed.
Tips to Improve Your Sleep
If possible, use the bedroom only for sleeping, not as a study or TV room, Healthpally senior health consultant advised.
It should also be at the right temperature (not too warm, 16-18 degrees is recommended) and be dark and quiet.
Buffer zone” between everyday life and sleep:
2hours before going to bed there should be a period of recovery.
If the tasks of the next day, worries, work, arguments, or musings don’t let you go, it is often helpful to write them down in a diary in the evening, for example, and “file” them.
Eat nothing at night
Eating regularly at night causes the body to wake up by itself within a short period because it expects to be “fed”.
No bright light when getting up at night
Bright light acts as a “wake-up maker” and can adjust the “internal clocks”. Therefore, it should be avoided at bedtime.
Don’t look at the clock at night
Looking at the clock usually triggers corresponding mental (“3 o’clock: I can forget the night again”) and physical reactions (tension, excitement). Turn the alarm clock so you can’t see it.
Daylight in the morning
Daylight in the morning (even in bad weather) helps to stabilize the sleep-wake cycle and at the same time has a mood-enhancing effect.
Don’t stay in bed longer than the average number of hours you’ve slept per night over the past week.
Excessive bedtime contributes to the maintenance of sleep disorders.
Regular physical exercise can improve sleep, especially when people with insomnia have little or no exercise.