Some nights sleep just doesn’t want to come. You toss and turn in bed, and in the morning you feel like you’ve been in best beds for side sleepers or tossed around.
These tips will help to prevent such sleep disorders from becoming the norm and help you get back to a healthy sleep.
Sleep is important for our health and well-being. During this rest period our body regenerates and our brain can process the impressions of the day in peace.
The rhythm of our metabolism and many hormones, which is determined by sleep and waking hours, also helps to strengthen the immune system and protect us against illness.
A permanent lack of sleep can weaken the immune system
But unfortunately, it doesn’t always work with sufficient sleep. Some people have trouble falling asleep, others wake up again and again at night and then lie awake for hours.
Still others don’t notice anything at night, but still feel limp in the morning. Unfortunately, neither counting sheep nor the good old hot milk with honey can help.
And the consequences are considerable: “Lack of sleep of any kind leads to exhaustion and impairs concentration,” explains Johanna Stranzinger from the Employers’ Liability Insurance Association for Health Service and Welfare Work (BGW).
“People who are tired make mistakes more quickly and have a higher risk of accidents. In the long term, a lack of deep sleep also weakens the immune system”.
Stress and shift work are sleep killers
The causes of sleep disorders often lie in our everyday life: a typical sleep killer is stress. Problems at work or in the family occupy us so much that our thoughts keep circling around them even when we fall asleep.
As a result, we are so tense that we simply do not sleep. But also wrong nutrition, noise and light or an unnatural daily rhythm can cause sleep disorders.
“We know sleep problems, for example, from employees working in shifts,” reports the expert. Those who work at night do so against the natural rhythm of our inner clock.
As a result, the rhythm of the body’s own sleep hormone melatonin also gets out of step. Normally our body pours it out in the evening when it gets dark, and this helps us feel tired and ready to sleep. If our daily rhythm is disturbed, we lack this fatigue-maker.
What helps against sleep disorders?
So what to do? “Those who suffer from sleep disorders should first check their personal habits and inner attitude,” advises Stranzinger. “Often even small changes in everyday life can help.” Experts also refer to these rules of conduct as “sleep hygiene”.
If you have to work night shifts, there is not much you can do to change your work rhythm. However, even then, there are still some measures that can be taken to promote sleep.
Seven tips for a restful sleep:
- During the day, you should be as active as possible and get plenty of exercise – but with enough time to get to bed.
- Avoid stimulating drinks, alcohol and heavy foods several hours before you plan to go to sleep
- It can also be helpful to find a personal relaxation ritual: For example, read before falling asleep or listen to quiet music
- Darken the bedroom, keep it cool and shield it from noise if possible.
- Notebook or tablet in bed are taboo! Their bluish light disturbs our inner clock and can make it difficult to fall asleep. Watching television in bed is also not recommended for sleep disorders.
- Try to find a regular sleep-wake rhythm, go to bed halfway at the same time every day so that the body can adjust to it.
- Do not drive yourself crazy if you wake up briefly at night – and do not look at the clock! Small waking phases are part of healthy sleep.