Better sleep? Read our 19 sleeping tips.
What are the best tips for better sleep? We have compiled the key tips for the best night’s sleep in 19 easily applicable sleeping tips. You will notice results even if you only use some of the sleeping tips.
Maybe you recognise this. When we feel drained, we are more inclined to make the right choices. But as soon as we feel better, the good intentions go right out of the proverbial window. If you want to be sure of a beneficial night’s sleep, you have to approach the bed in the right way, so to speak. Maybe this can be compared best with an athlete, a long or high jumper. In effect, during the day we are taking small steps that impact on our sleep. As the evening progresses, it becomes even more important to make the right choices for a good night’s sleep. These sleeping tips will help you on your way to sleeping well.
Sleeping tips: better sleep starts during the day.
1. Go for sunlight in the morning.
In order to programme your biological clock, you need sunlight preferably in the morning. So, if possible, take a walk in the morning or during your lunch break. Research has shown that an hour of sunlight early in the day has an important effect on your quality of sleep.
2. Get enough exercise.
You also clock up some steps with this. Ideally you must have done 10,000 steps at the end of the day. Moving is necessary to feel good, but also to sleep better. Do not only move enough but also frequently during the day. These sports are suitable for people with back problems.
3. Limit stimulants such as coffee and tea.
Limit the amount of coffee you drink – in particular if you are sensitive to it – to a couple of cups per day and definitely not after 5pm. Cola, black and green tea also contain caffeine (or theine). Some teas make you urinate more than usual during the night because theine is a diuretic. This also interrupts sleep.
4. Fresh air is important
Air your room during the day so that your bed can air as well (with open sheets) and you can sleep in fresh air. If possible, sleep with an open window but only if this does not causes disruptive noises.
Sleeping tips for the evening in preparation for the night
5. Eat and drink in moderation in the evening
It is best to keep your meal light and healthy at night. Do not eat fatty and heavy foods or too late at night. Ideally, you should stop eating three hours before you go to bed. One glass of alcohol with dinner is fine. Alcohol just before going to bed is not recommended. You will fall asleep quicker, but will also wake up easier and the quality of sleep is poorer. Do not smoke shortly before going to bed as nicotine increases the heart rate so that it is more difficult for you to fall asleep.
6. (Rather) eat sleep-inducing foods.
Natural amino acids help you sleep. So if you want to eat something in the evening after all, have yoghurt or milk, but also dates, bananas and nut-paste make you relax and induce sleep. Aside from amino acids, serotonin also helps you sleep. Wholemeal products – as do bananas and dark chocolate – contain lots of serotonin and therefore are perfect alternative sleep-inducing remedy, but take them in small quantities because the stomach should not work too hard during the night.
7. Go for feeling relaxed
Watching TV in the evening can be relaxing, reading a book or magazine even more so. Consider how you feel and what you have done during the day (a lot of computer work or driving?) Maybe an evening stroll is a better idea.
Still physically tense when going to bed? Loosen your muscles a bit before lying down with a few relaxing exercises and (self) massage. Physical stress often can be felt in the neck, shoulder and lower back muscles.
8. Take time to settle down.
Sport and exercise make you sleep better. But leave at least one hour between any physical activities and going to sleep. After an intensive work-out, such as spinning or indoor football, you need more time to relax.
Stop using your computer, tablet or mobile phone an hour before going to sleep. The light intensity of the screen will keep you awake rather than resting your eyes and mind. Reduce the light intensity of your screen towards night time.
A television in the bedroom is not conducive to a good night’s sleep. Also, falling asleep in front of the TV will result in you sleeping lighter and more unsettled.
A warm bath relaxes but has a reviving effect. It is better to take a shower before going to bed.
9. Start preparing for the following day.
Make sure everything is ready to leave on time in the morning. Prepare for breakfast in the morning, and put out your clothes for instance. This way you can go to bed relaxed and be less stressed in the morning.
Sleeping tips for the moment of truth: going to and getting into bed
10. Do not lie in bed worrying
If you must worry, this is not the moment. Put a little note book beside your bed and if you think of anything that you must not forget, write it down. If you wake up and start thinking of something, you can write it down immediately. By the way, a lot of good ideas spring up at night.
11. Try to have a regular sleeping pattern
Try to establish a fixed bedtime routine and go to bed at the same time as much as possible. A bedtime routine may be that you switch off the TV on time, dim the lights, reflect on the day that has passed and start thinking briefly about tomorrow.
12. Listen to your body.
Do you feel tired? Go to sleep, do not draw out the evening unnecessarily with sweets, savoury snacks and blue light of the smartphone or tablet. The first half of the night is most important. This is when you sleep deepest and recover most. Your sleeping rhythm and need for sleep are personal. You cannot adjust to your partner, so you may have to go to bed earlier than him or her. In any case, an early night is beneficial for body and soul.
13. Think positive.
Always try to go to sleep with a positive mindset. Ending a long day with thoughts about things that are not so good has no added value. Rather think of what has been good or think of nothing at all by focusing on your breathing. Lying on your back for a couple of minutes and ‘meditating’ by listening to your breathing can help you sleep better. Try it.
Ensure you’re not too hot or too cold. If necessary, buy a warm winter and airy summer duvet. The best temperature is not lower than 16 and not warmer than 18 degrees.
15. Support your body as best you can
With a good sleep system or ergonomic mattress you will sleep deeper due to having the right support and you will recover more efficiently. You also sleep calmer when the support of your body is anatomically correct and that is always a nicer experience. Contrary to your days, you want your nights to be as uneventful as possible. Of course, Dorsoo can help you very well with this!
16. Try to sleep as relaxed as possible.
Still not asleep after half an hour? Get up for a little while, relax a bit and try to get back to sleep. Medication (such as sleeping tablets) works only very temporarily and is not recommended unless there is really an urgent problem. Melatonin may help out and is not harmful.
Are you sensitive to environmental noise? Use ear plugs. They make falling asleep easier and increase the number of hours you sleep because you are not woken up by environmental noise or a snoring partner.
Sleeping tips to work on your sleep from the moment you wake up
17. Get up each day at the same time.
Research has shown that getting up each day at the same time is more important for our sleep than going to bed at the same time each day. Of course, both would be ideal. This way your biological clock remains on track. It is better not to snooze. Make the most of your time in the morning.
18. Back pain? Be careful when you get up.
What is the best way to get up if you have back pain? Turn onto your side, slide your legs out of bed and push yourself up using your arms to straighten your torso and get to a seated position. Don’t make any abrupt movements.
19. Start the day full of energy.
Five minutes of exercises each morning is a wonderful way to activate the body. There are great apps for this for Android and iOS. If you have frequent back problems, it is better to seek advice from your therapist about the exercises you can combine.
When you get up, drink a glass of refreshing water to get your body going internally. Start the day with a healthy breakfast.