How to get a good night’s sleep? How to get rid of constant problems with falling asleep? What to do in order to sleep deeply at night and have good mood and energy after waking up? It is not difficult to have problems with sleep in today’s busy, hectic times. We live in a very fast pace, a huge amount of stimuli and information reaches us from all directions, and our brain remains in a state of high activity almost all the time. It is difficult for us in the evening hours to switch off our thoughts, calm our mind and peacefully enter the sleep atmosphere. However, there may be many more reasons for not getting enough sleep, sometimes we don’t even realize how seemingly insignificant little things can worsen the quality of sleep. What can affect the sleep disorders? How to create ideal conditions for a good rest? How to finally start getting enough sleep?
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Sleep disorders destabilize health and life
When the blissful, peaceful, deep sleep more and more often becomes an interrupted, shallow, short pseudo-sleep, our whole life begins to lose its quality. While one sleepless night does not affect our health in a special way and generates only sleepiness during the day, fatigue or a slight reduction of mental performance, chronic problems with sleep cast a shadow on the condition of the whole organism.
Long-term lack of sleep leads to weakening of the immune system and increased susceptibility to various ailments. When we sleep too little, our body does not fully regenerate, hence the faster aging and greater health problems than in people sleeping the right amount of hours. Chronic sleep deprivation also results in deterioration of our mental form, disruption of the nervous system and lower life productivity both on the professional and private ground.
How many hours of sleep do we need?
In recent years, there has been a trend across society for less and less sleep. According to researchers, today we sleep about an hour less than is needed for optimal rest of the body and maintain impeccable psychophysical condition. Unfortunately one hour is a lot in the context of sleep and night regeneration of the body. And actually, how much should one sleep, and how much do we actually sleep?
The appropriate amount of sleep for the proper functioning of the body for an adult is 7-8 hours. However, there are deviations here. Some people feel sleepy and rested already after 6 hours, for others even 8 hours of sleep is not enough.
Generally specialists are of the opinion that we should sleep as much time as we individually need to maintain physical and mental well-being. At the same time they emphasize that if we sleep less than 6 hours a night, the hormonal balance becomes disturbed and our body does not get enough rest. In this case, the risk of many diseases, including diabetes and cancer, increases. On the other hand, too much sleep has a negative effect on the condition of the body – it disrupts the natural rhythm of the body and increases the risk of illnesses.
To sum up, the question of how many hours to sleep, there is no one precise answer, because each of us has different biological conditions. Therefore, everyone must individually determine how much time they need to get a full night’s sleep. At the same time, however, it can be said with conviction that we should not sleep less than 6 hours, but also not more than 9 hours per night, because this could damage our health. For most adults, the optimal, most comfortable length of sleep is 7-7.5 hours.
Effects of chronic sleep deprivation
Very shallow sleep throughout the night, problems with falling asleep, waking up prematurely, waking up frequently during the night – all these factors contribute to the effect of not getting enough sleep. When we don’t get enough sleep once, we have red eyes, pale complexion and gloom and a little less strength and energy, but when we go awake all or almost all the time, our body starts to work worse and worse. Here are the effects of frequent sleeplessness:
- slower metabolism, appetite disorders, excessive appetite, and consequently overweight or obesity,
- decrease in motivation, creativity and mental productivity,
- absent-mindedness, impaired concentration and memory,
- mood swings, depression,
- increased susceptibility to stress,
- nervousness, irritability,
- constant fatigue, drowsiness, lack of vital energy,
- poorer coordination, slowness, poorer motor skills,
- decreased libido,
- digestive problems,
- vision problems,
- weakened immune system,
- increased risk of diabetes,
- increased risk of hypertension, heart disease, cardiovascular disease,
- increased risk of cancer (e.g. colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer),
- greater susceptibility to infections, colds,
- worsening of the appearance and condition of the skin, easier formation of wrinkles,
- faster aging of the skin and the body.
Why can’t I sleep?
Sleep disorders have different grounds and different symptoms. Insomnia can take the form of long-term, short-term (lasting up to a month), as well as casual (lasting several days). Very often observed nowadays are problems with falling asleep, and then with getting up. We have problems with entering deep sleep, we roll over from side to side for a long time, and when we wake up, we feel completely sleep-deprived, upset and, colloquially speaking, we can’t get out of bed.
These kinds of problems are very often associated with disturbances in circadian rhythm – we sleep irregularly, go to bed at different times, too little time for rest or sit too long at night absorbed in various activities, missing the best moment to go to sleep. As a result, our sleep-wake cycle becomes destabilized and we are not able to get a good rest. Of course, there are also other causes of sleep problems, shallow sleep and not getting enough sleep. It is worth listing them all:
- too high a temperature in the bedroom,
- sleeping in a stuffy or smoky room,
- the presence of light emitting devices in the bedroom,
- Sleeping in a room with disturbing sounds (e.g. from various appliances in the house),
- noise from outside,
- light from streetlights coming into the bedroom,
- an uncomfortable bed, an ill-fitting pillow or mattress,
- Late and heavy dinners,
- heavy use of smartphone, computer, tablet before bedtime,
- too many stimuli before bedtime,
- taking naps during the day,
- going to bed at different times (e.g. once very early, once in the morning, etc.),
- severe, frequent stress,
- poor mental condition, living in a state of nervous tension,
- hormonal fluctuations (e.g. around menopause),
- Excessive coffee or other stimulants, especially in the evening,
- alcohol abuse, drug use, smoking a lot of cigarettes,
- recovery from addictions (e.g., quitting smoking),
- taking certain medications,
- too little time spent asleep, over-activity in the evening causing us to go to bed later than we wanted,
- too much time spent in bed, unnaturally prolonging sleep after the initial awakening.
How to sleep to get enough sleep?
Not always the desire to fall asleep and have a decent rest goes hand in hand with reality. Often deep sleep does not come, although we would like it to. We can’t fall asleep, we wake up during the night and in the morning we feel tired, broken and have the impression that we haven’t slept at all. How to get a good night’s sleep? How do you fall asleep as soon as you get into bed without rolling over from side to side and without intrusive, galloping thoughts?
Just by making a few small changes to your bedroom, your daily habits and your thinking, you can see a big improvement in your quality of sleep. Natural over-the-counter sleeping pills and home remedies for sleep can also be extremely helpful. However, let’s start with the psyche.
How to get enough sleep – the psyche is key!
Everyone has nervous and stressful situations in their lives, but not everyone can easily move past them. If we can’t distance ourselves from problems and more difficult feelings and emotions, they can leave too much of an imprint on our lives. One of the consequences of low resistance to stress, nervousness, overexcitement, a tendency to worry and to live strongly with everyday problems is that we have difficulty sleeping.
Here are some tips to help us reduce our stress, “repair” our shattered nerves and restore our peace of mind, and thus bring back a good night’s sleep.
Leave professional matters at work
Stress at work very often translates into sleep disorders. A lot of pressure from the boss, excessive competition, too many duties, tasks taken on our shoulders, which are beyond our skills or abilities… We could mention at least a few more problems which are faced by professionally active people. A bad situation at work has a negative impact on our psyche, we are unable to keep our distance and separate our professional and private life. We come home, but mentally we are still at work, and in the evening, before going to bed, instead of relaxing with a good movie or literature, we think about our professional problems.
If we want to improve our mental form and start sleeping better, we should learn to separate our business matters from private ones. After work, let’s relax, indulge in family life or hobbies, and not spend all our time worrying about work-related matters.
Learn anti-stress techniques and reduce your daily stress levels!
Chronic stress is a common phenomenon that has a very negative effect on the state of our body. Physical and mental stress manifests itself in various ways, e.g. through headaches, constant fatigue, excessive sweating, body numbness, muscle tension, shallow breathing, rapid pulse, decreased concentration, reduced mental performance. It also brings with it many other ailments. One of the symptoms of stress are also problems with falling asleep, shallow sleep and difficulty sleeping.
In the interest of health and good psychophysical form it is therefore worth trying to reduce its level through systematic use of proven methods such as
- breathing exercises,
- regular moderate physical activity,
- walks in meadows, forests, mountains, by the water (in general – communing with nature),
- listening to relaxing music and the sounds of nature,
- taking relaxing baths and massages,
You can also use herbal preparations or multi-ingredient dietary supplements to reduce stress and restore mental balance (such as Restilen).
Learn to control your emotions and moods!
Sleeplessness and problems with falling asleep can be the result of an overly emotional approach to life, giving in to violent feelings and a tendency to get upset, anxious and restless. How can we sleep well when we are constantly torn apart by our emotions and are unable to free ourselves from them, calm down internally, rationalize a given situation and distance ourselves from it? We should learn to observe ourselves and catch the unfavorable emotions that arise in us, then extinguish them and redirect our thoughts to positive things for us.
When we regain control over our emotions, mood swings and excessive nervous excitement will disappear, and along with them will disappear problems with sleep resulting in sleeplessness.
Give yourself some time in the evenings to calm down and relax
The evening is the time when we should calm down, enter the state of relaxation, gradually disconnecting from the stimuli reaching us. If you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, before going to bed avoid content from different media that engage your mind. Forget about emotional, tension-inducing films. Instead of loud, dynamic music, listen to quiet and peaceful, instead of heavy literature that arouses strong emotions, reach for light, pleasant to read prose. Our brain must have room to rest, which is why it is so important not to stimulate its work before the night comes. Only when you feel inner peace and drowsiness, go to bed.
Read also: How to deal with stress?
How to get a good night’s sleep – a few simple tips
Here are some proven tips that if followed will result in improved sleep quality:
Habits to help you sleep better
- If you get little exercise on a daily basis, incorporate an extra dose of physical activity – as you get tired, you’ll oxygenate your body and sleep better.
- If you are exposed to frequent and very intense exercise, try to reduce it. Problems with sleep and insufficient regeneration of the body, and consequently sleeplessness and fatigue during the day are sometimes the result of intensive effort, too much work and exhaustion of the body.
- If you drink a lot of coffee, try to partially reduce these quantities. Especially in the morning and evening replace the cup of coffee with other drinks, such as juices, water, weaker black or green tea, herbal infusions (e.g. chamomile, lemon balm, mint).
- Introduce a healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, dairy and cereal products. Limit processed foods that contain large amounts of simple sugars and chemical additives that may cause sleep problems.
- Limit the amount of time spent in front of the TV, computer, and with your phone or tablet just before going to bed. The screens of these types of devices emit blue light, which is a signal to our brain to stay active.
- Don’t eat dinners that are too late, too rich or too heavy. Your last meal should be light and dietary and take place about 2-3 hours before you go to bed.
- Limit alcohol and cigarettes – both stimulate the nervous system and affect neurotransmitters in the brain. Used in excess, they can disrupt your sleep cycle.
- Limit the time you spend in bed. Get out of bed as soon as you wake up, don’t lie down too long and don’t take naps. Also, avoid lying in bed during the day and doing activities in bed such as reading, working on your laptop, etc. These types of activities can be done in an armchair. These types of activities can be done in an armchair, at a desk or on the couch.
Practical tricks for a better night’s sleep
- Remove equipment with LED lights from your bedroom or cover them up. They can disturb your sleep without you even realising.
- Hang blackout blinds or curtains in your bedroom. It is very common for the light from lampposts to disturb your night’s rest and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
- Avoid disorder and excess of things in the bedroom. To improve the quality of rest, the room in which we sleep should be tidy and harmonious.
- Make sure the temperature in the bedroom is right (about 18-20 degrees) and air the room before you go to bed. When the room is stuffy or hot, sleep is worse.
- Try to sleep regularly, go to bed at one time. Avoid long periods of sitting at night.
- Before going to bed, give up harsh, very bright overhead lighting, opt for subdued, dim, warm light.
- Spray your bedding with lavender spray. Lavender is a known ally of a good sleep. Its scent has a calming, soothing, and slightly sleep-inducing effect on us.
- Take dietary supplements with melatonin, which regulates sleep and wakefulness rhythms, and extracts that promote sleep quality.