Sleep better: 5 tips for restful sleep

Sleep better: 5 tips for restful sleep

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Simple measures to promote sleep quality

Do you find it difficult to fall asleep peacefully and wake up refreshed? Many people share this problem. Around every third person is said to have trouble falling asleep by now. However, the methods presented here can make falling asleep easier and improve sleep quality.

Dr. Charlene Gamaldo is the medical director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep. The sleep expert presents five methods that can help you fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep.

Poor sleep can have massive health effects

A disturbed sleep is more than an inconvenience. Poor sleep affects performance the next day and negatively affects emotional balance, as well as physical and mental health. Those who sleep poorly all the time increase the risk of depression, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Natural measures instead of sleeping pills

"It's not always necessary to get a prescription for a sleeping pill," emphasizes Dr. Gamaldo. There are also many natural ways you can influence sleeping habits. Here are five of these methods:

Tip 1: Suitable drinks to fall asleep

The sleep expert advises not to drink alcohol before falling asleep. Alcohol interferes with sleep and reduces sleep quality. Instead, you should prefer warm milk, chamomile tea or sour cherry juice. "Warm milk has long been associated with messenger substances that simulate the effects of tryptophan on the brain," explains Gamaldo. Tryptophan is a chemical building block for the substance serotonin, which in turn is involved in the sleep-wake transition.

According to the director, chamomile tea can also be helpful. "It is suspected that it contains flavonoids that can interact with benzodiazepine receptors in the brain, which are also involved in the sleep-wake transition," explains the expert. In addition, unlike green tea or Earl Gray, chamomile tea does not contain caffeine. Drinking bitter cherry juice could support melatonin production. Melatonin is also important for a healthy sleep cycle.

Tip 2: Exercise at the right times

Like Dr. Gamaldo reports that physical activity can improve sleep, although researchers aren't entirely sure why. It is known that moderate exercise increases the amount of deep sleep. To take advantage of this effect, however, the right timing is required.

For example, it is known that movement also releases endorphins that have a wakeful effect. Movement also increases the core body temperature, which tells the organism that it is time to get up and become active. For these reasons, no sport should be practiced in the evening at least two hours before sleeping.

Tip 3: cool temperatures in the bedroom

The ideal temperature in the bedroom should be between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius, Gamaldo recommends. Menopausal women who have hot flashes should keep the room as cool as possible and wear cotton or breathable fabrics in bed.

Tip 4: Absolute darkness

It is known that light - including that of smartphones and televisions - disturbs sleep. According to Gamaldo, the bedroom should therefore be kept as dark as possible. Even when going to the bathroom at night, you should avoid bright lighting and use a flashlight instead, because this causes fewer visual disturbances. "If you wake up for a toilet break, it can take up to 30 minutes before you drift away again, this is completely normal," said the sleep expert.

Tip 5: Melatonin instead of sleeping pills

If you want to take something to help you sleep, Gamaldo says you should rather use melatonin supplements than sleeping pills. “Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally released in the brain four hours before bedtime,” explains Gamaldo. Production is usually stimulated by reduced light exposure.

However, since artificial light is produced today from numerous sources, this can have a negative effect on natural melatonin production and make it difficult to fall asleep. For example, melatonin is available as a supplement in pharmacies. Gamaldo recommends staying with the same brand if possible, as dosages and ingredients may vary between manufacturers. (vb)

Further information can be found in the article "Sleep problems - causes, symptoms and therapy".

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek

Video: 5 Tips For Falling Asleep Quicker, According To A Sleep Expert (June 2022).


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