How to sleep better?
How to sleep better?
Do you find it difficult to fall asleep at night?
Do you recognize this too?
Your head cannot stop thinking? You move in your bed to find the right position? You decide to look at your notebook or smart phone again hoping to fall asleep soon? You see yourself scrolling through your friends Facebook and Instagram time lines and all of a sudden it is super late. You put down your smart phone or notebook and stare to the ceiling.
You know that your alarm clock will ring in some hours and now you are right awake.
You cannot fall asleep anymore!
Or do you wake up during the night and have difficulties falling back to sleep? Your head starts thinking too much and you cannot find the right position to fall asleep again? You look at your clock and see the time ticking away, feeling frustration that you cannot fall back to sleep?
Or maybe you wake up too early and are very tired.
Whatever your sleeping problem is…
… you are not the only one.
Just read a research that stated that almost 25% of people have sleeping problems. This research was done among people living in the Netherlands and are 25 years and above.
It is even worse… because 40% of these people say that they sleep so badly they have problems during the day. They have concentration problems, are forgetful and have a bad mood.
The importance of sleep
A bad night sleep not only affects our mental health: mood and concentration. Actually sleeping plays a very important role in our physical health. Because when you sleep, your body is healing and repairing your heart and blood vessels. That is why people who have a severe lack of sleep have an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and stroke.
Worldwide, more and more people are taking sleeping drugs, like melatonin, sleeping pills, sedating antihistamines and other over the counter sleeping aids. However, specialists say this is very risky. Not only because many people are taking these drugs for a longer period of time, so they get depended. But using sleeping aids without proper diagnoses can cause more serious problems.
I too had difficulties falling asleep and changed some things before bed time as I read about it, which did help a bit:
– No screen time 2 hours before sleeping
– How tempting it might be, not scrolling on my phone in my bed before bed time
– Turn my alarm clock, so I cannot see the time when I wake up at night
– I made my bedroom very dark, I realized it was too light
– No caffeine after dinner time
– A light meal at dinner
– No pure chocolate in the evening (that was hard!)
– Not drinking too much water after dinner, because I always woke up to go to the toilet
But I still was thinking too much in my bed…
So I decided to integrate some ‘thinking-time’ before bed-time. You might call it a form of meditation, but I call it ‘thinking-time’. This is my time when I sit down, quiet, and think more than 10 minutes about the day, about things I still need or like to do, or anything that comes to mind. If needed, I write it down. And then I stop my ‘thinking-time’ so I can go to sleep clear-headed.
So yes, this all helped, but still I woke up with digestion problems, having to go to the toilet in the middle of the night. Sometimes muscle cramps. Or even if I thought I was relaxed I still had stress in my body which kept me in a vicious circle, to being frustrated to fall back asleep.
So the most important thing that makes me do sleep well, is massage. I make sure I get at least 2 massages a week, so I am relaxed and ready to prepare myself for enough sleep. Yes, I am fortunate having a husband that is a massage therapist. But if he doesn’t have time or he is traveling I ask my kids to walk over me. Or I book a massage. I just want to be sure I am rested and relaxed.
Maybe you now think, massage? What has that to do with sleeping? Well, actually a lot. Because massage fights insomnia – sleeplessness -, if you have difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep.
Because massage reduces digestion problems, increases serotonin (happy hormones), decreases cortisol (stress hormones) and reduces muscle cramps. How massage does that is another story. Anyway, if you have difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep just try a massage treatment to see how it works for you.
Wishing you all a good night sleep!
Nicole & Manel
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