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Sleep healthier: Here are the ten most useful tips for sleeping through the night


Almost every third person in Germany suffers from sleep disorders. Those affected cannot fall asleep, wake up at night or do not recover even after a long sleep.

We need sleep
This does not remain without consequences: the body needs sleep to regenerate itself and the brain needs dreams to process everyday life. Lack of sleep disturbs concentration, promotes depression and obesity.

Simple tricks help
If there is a serious illness behind it, then doctors have to fight the cause. However, people with sleep disorders can do a lot to improve their sleep quality.

Reduce caffeine
Those who suffer from a lack of sleep should avoid caffeine from noon: no coffee, no black tea, no mate and, above all, no energy drinks.

Be careful with alcohol
People should only consume alcohol in moderation. Red wine or beer seemingly calms down and drunk people fall asleep at some point, but this has nothing to do with healing sleep.

Sleep under the influence of alcohol does not regenerate. On dreams it looks like poison: instead of meaningful dream tales, torn fragments line up, nightmares are also promoted by alcohol, especially in the early morning.

Together with the hangover, the dark images of the intoxication room make you feel bad when you wake up. Alcoholism and sleep disorders go together.

Do your job
Make daily plans. Do the tasks you set yourself. If you can't finish, write down the unfinished business on your calendar before going to sleep for the next day.

Today sleep research knows that unfinished business leads to sleep disorders at night.

Move
Lack of exercise is also a cause of sleep disorders: While it is convenient to spend the evening on the sofa, the circulation does not get going. Those who spend the day on the couch often wake up at night because their blood pressure drops.

It's not about competitive sports: if you walk half an hour before falling asleep and take a deep breath, that's enough to raise your blood pressure.

Finish the job
Even if it is difficult in times of constant accessibility between What’s App and Facebook: switch off about an hour before bedtime, practically and mentally.

Put demanding mental and physical work on the hours before.

Pleasant setting
Provide a relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom. For example, you can separate the work area and sleeping area and store books in the bedside table that you read especially when you fall asleep - so no official documents.

Help rituals
People adapt to situations with rituals. You can develop your personal sleep ritual. These can be everyday activities, for example, by putting the dishwasher in every day before going to bed. However, you can only read a particular book in bed and make a chapter out of it.

Don't look at the clock
If you cannot fall asleep or wake up at night, do not look at your watch all the time. This puts the sleepless under pressure, puts them under stress and ensures that they stay awake.

Instead, positive self-suggestion is appropriate. You can imagine yourself dozing in a meadow in the sunshine, or say "everything is beautiful".

Understand sleep phases
We regenerate in the REM phases. In this deep sleep, epic dreams emerge, our subconscious works on solutions to conflicts, and we start the new day with a tidy psyche.

Such a phase lasts about 90 minutes. Therefore, you should plan the time until the alarm clock rings so that it corresponds to a multiple of 90 minutes. So if you have to get up at 7:00 am, you'd better go to bed at 11:30 pm than at 11:00 pm.

Then wake up in a light sleep phase in which your unconscious does not process anything essential.

When should you see a doctor?
However, if you fall asleep several times a week despite all the measures that promote sleep, and your daily routine is disturbed, you should consult a doctor.

Serious illnesses can be the cause, calcium deficiency as well as familial insomnia, which often even ends in death. Mental disorders such as depression can also trigger insomnia. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

Video: Doctor, I Have Insomnia. What Can I Do? - Alon Avidan, MD. UCLA Health Sleep Center (October 2020).