Expert tips

Expert tips

for a good night’s sleep

Nutrition

Even your inner organs have a certain rhythm. Your pancreas and gut, for example, are a lot less active throughout the night. Which is why the amount of supper and the time at which you have it can affect the quality of sleep and the recreational value you get out of it. Remember that your body will have several hours of digesting to do after your last meal of the day. So, at least on weekdays, plan to have your evening meal at a time that allows you to go to bed sated but not full. Certain types of food can also help us sleep.

Warm milk with honey

The gentle reminder of childhood days in combination with the soporific micro-nutrients contained in milk – such as melatonin and tryptophan – make this an effective remedy for inducing sleep.

A bedtime sweet

A small piece of chocolate before bed can help you fall asleep. Especially in combination with a few cashews or almonds. So, how about a chocolate-coated almond? But don’t forget to brush your teeth!

A cooked supper

Raw fruit or vegetables are only partly digested at night and thus put a strain on your guts and liver. Which is why you should avoid raw food and cook any vegetables you would like to have for supper.

Steer clear of caffeine

Caffeine only gets broken down very slowly by your body. Five hours after your last cup of coffee, half the caffeine is still in your bloodstream. Which is why you should steer clear of coffee, coke and black / green tea after 5.00 pm.

Alcohol in moderation

A glass of wine or beer has a relaxing effect and can even help us fall asleep. However, more alcohol prevents you from enjoying a deep slumber. The quality of sleep suffers, and you will feel less revived. Which is why you should indulge in one glass only – so make it a good one.

Hunger keeps us awake

Don’t go to bed hungry. If your stomach is rumbling, your brain will tell your body: go and hunt for food. However, a full belly is also not ideal. Find out what works for you, because people react differently here.

Oat flakes with banana

Admittedly, that does not sound like supper. But a bowl of milk with oat flakes, banana and a few cashews sprinkled on top will get you to drop off in no time. Give it a try.

Cherries will make you sleepy

They contain the sleep hormone melatonin. Montmorency cherries in particular are known to contain significant amounts. They are available dried or as a juice. The ideal bedtime snack.

Calming tea

Lemon balm, hops and valerian have a calming effect on our nervous system. They help us relax. With a little honey, these herbal teas can send us to the land of Nod and improve the recreational value of our sleep.

Don’t eat too late

Although people react differently here, a rule of thumb is: do not eat any large meals three hours before going to bed. Find your ideal time for supper.

Snacks that will make you drowsy

Instead of crisps, go for a bowl of pumpkin or sunflower seeds. They contain plenty of magnesium, which relaxes the muscles and calms the nerves. Ideal for a good night’s sleep.

Exercise

The more active you are throughout the day, the better you will be able to sleep at night. Do not stay seated for longer than 20 minutes. Stand up as often as you can. The short walk to the coffee machine or to the toilet also counts. If you can’t go outside regularly or do sports, try engaging in little 1-2-minute exercise units. This will keep stress at bay.

Exercise in the afternoon

Sport tires us out and breaks down stress hormones. Both will help you sleep at night. Since the body needs to calm down again, allow 2-3 hours to pass before you go to bed.

Endurance sport is best

Moderately fast walking or jogging have proven most beneficial for a healthy sleep. Regular jogging in particular is ideal for a deep and relaxing sleep.

Evening walk

A quiet little walk in the evening soothes body and mind. Ideally through a forest or park. The natural surroundings, oxygen-rich air and leafy green of the plants will allow you to relax even better.

Tense up to relax

When you’re already lying in bed, tense up the muscles in your arms, stomach, back and legs as hard as you can and count to 10. Then let go. Every time you do this, you will relax more.

Sleeping exercise

Before you try to fall asleep, lie down on your back for 5 minutes and consciously relax every group of muscles separately. Keep your mind on breathing out and listen to your inner voice.

Breathe yourself tired

When you’re already in bed, breathe in slowly and deeply 20 times. Always hold your breath for a few seconds before breathing out again completely.

Regular exercise

A regular activity – be it football, dancing or cycling – will balance out your body. Your stress regulation will improve, and your hormones will equalise.

Relaxing yoga

Relaxing yoga not only stretches your muscles and connective tissue, but also improves the balance between body and mind.

Lifestyle

Many internal and external factors influence our sleep. It is well worth optimising them. Because the quality of sleep has an immediate effect on our wellbeing and, in the long run, on our health. Minimal changes can have a huge impact.

Check the place you sleep in

If you have trouble sleeping, you should check your bed. Sometimes, it is positioned badly, or the alignment is wrong. Try different options.

Regulate the temperature

The ideal sleeping temperature is at around 18°C. Simply check the temperature half an hour before you go to bed and adjust if necessary.

Air the room or open the window

Fresh air is vital for the brain to relax at night. Either air the bedroom properly 10 minutes before you go to bed or leave the window open overnight.

Music relaxes

Music can help you fall asleep. Look online to find special music to make you drowsy. It has an effect on the brainwaves and helps you calm down.

Rituals help

Evening rituals are not just for children. Repeating familiar actions tells your body that it’s time to wind down.

Avoid excitement

Don’t watch any thrilling films before bed. Excitement causes the body to release stress hormones that make it difficult to fall asleep. A little light reading is a lot better.

Send your devices to bed early

Put away your mobile or your tablet an hour before you intend to go to bed. Using your gadgets shortly before bed can prevent you from dozing off. Try reading a good book instead.

Take a hot shower

A hot shower relaxes the muscles and calms the nervous system. Ideally, shower just before going to bed.

As quiet as possible

Noise can have a significant impact on the rest we get. Even if you sleep through it. This is something to consider when choosing your bedroom. You can also use earplugs or keep the window shut at night.

To-do lists for tomorrow

If you lie awake and can’t stop pondering the tasks that await you the following day, simply make a do-to list before you got to bed. This will help you let go.

Evening contemplation

Allow the day to pass before your inner eye. What went well? What would you like to improve? You can either write this down in a diary or mull things over in your mind. It will help you let go.

Relaxing scents

Lavender, sandalwood or cedarwood have a calming and soporific effect. Sprinkle a few drops on your pillow, use a fragrant oil burner or snuggle up with a small scented cushion.