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How do we sleep better?

We need our sleep to be productive and focused during the day, maybe today more than ever in the history of mankind. Just because we made it to the top of the food chain, doesn’t mean we are invincible. Actually the thing that threatens us most is controllable and created by us: stress. Exercise during the day, getting enough rest and maybe even a 20min nap during the daytime can vastly improve your quality of life and the amount of energy you have for everyday tasks.

Have you not had enough resting times recently, maybe even trouble sleeping?

Here you find some essential lifestyle changes you might want to make:

  • ‘Sleep Hygiene’ – Do not work while sitting in bed. If you can, then even consider using your bedroom only for work unrelated tasks. This helps to set clear boundaries and sets off a learning process that the bed is for sleeping (and loving) only.
  • Avoid working out in the evenings – It is true exercising can help to improve sleep patterns,  because it promotes the serotonin production (serotonin is necessary to produce the sleep hormone melatonin) however this can be counterproductive if done before going to bed.
  • Use the power of light – In case you struggle falling asleep, wake up early, or often have trouble getting up in the morning: Take the factor light into account. Light is essential in getting the waking state and sleep regulating hormones in our body flowing. Keep the room dark whilst you want to sleep, if you want to wake up however just open the blinds. There are even some smart little gadgets like daylight lamps. Some gently wake you up by imitating the light waves of the sun and can even simulate a sunrise.
  • Avoid heavy meals and alcohol – The body’s digestion is resting during the night. Which means food consumed before going to sleep is not absorbed and metabolised correctly and therefore can cause nightly discomfort. Alcohol also has the effect to stress the body and to reduce its ability to metabolize.
  • Watch what you put into your body – Caffeine, if in tea or coffee and nicotine are drugs that stress our organism and will lead to a less recreative sleep pattern.
  • Maybe your own snoring is getting in the way – Has anyone ever told you, that you snore quite loudly? Then you should definitely refrain from smoking and alcohol before going to bed, they exacerbate the problem. Loud snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, which is the obstruction of the airways through the pendulum. Changing the sleeping position by lying on the side and elevated head support is a remedy for snoring, however severe cases need help from a professional.
  • Practice relaxation exercises like self-hypnosis – You can learn to control your stress levels and become very skilled in eliciting a relaxation response. Either by using yoga, meditation, or even by learning how to hypnotize yourself, you can learn to drift off into sleep much more quickly.

Most of the time it takes an issue to become prominent to alarm us that something isn’t going quite the way we (our body and mind) would need it to be. Sleeping problems are often a warning sign that it is time to take responsibility over your health and regain control over your life.

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