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Better sleep – 10 tips for improving sleep quality

In your entire life, you spend about 24 years being asleep – better make sure you spend that time well! However, the number of people suffering from poor sleep and even insomnia is increasing. This often has to do with our lifestyle: constant accessibility and overstimulation by electronics or stress at work. A good night’s sleep is incredibly important, since it ensures a stronger immune system, mental balance and a faster metabolism.

Here you’ll find 10 tips that might help you improve your sleep quality and fall asleep a little faster!

1. Just relax

Yes – this one is easier said than done. When stressed, your body needs way more time to calm down and to fall asleep. Relaxation exercises such as yoga and special breathing techniques can help you find peace after a long day. Yoga relieves physical tension and can also calm your mind. In addition, a warm bath can be helpful as well – the temperature of your body rises and your body calms down faster.

2. Introduce bedtime routines

Introducing certain rituals is not only helpful when it comes to hydration. Especially in the evening, fixed bedtime rituals can help prepare your body for a quiet and restful night. For example, you can read a book, listen to an audiobook or knit before going to bed. Just make sure to read a book that won’t leave you too excited or overthinking! Furthermore, a regular evening stroll can also help your body go into sleep mode faster.

3. Establish a schedule

Often enough, our schedules are full and our day-to-day life is more chaotic than we’d like. Sometimes it‘s difficult to integrate fixed times for sleeping as well as for getting up. However, a bedtime and wakeup schedule can improve the quality of your sleep – especially if you also stick to it on the weekends. Trying to „catch up“ by sleeping in on weekends can actually leave you even more tired.

4. Create a nice bedroom atmosphere

The bedroom should be a place of rest where you can switch off and feel good – far away from the daily hustle and bustle. Accordingly, there should not be a desk in your bedroom and it‘s also beneficial if the room can be darkened by blinds or curtains.

5. Put worries and thoughts into words

Imagine yourself lying in bed, wanting to calm down, but your thoughts keep spinning in your head and prevent you from falling asleep: What do you have to do tomorrow? What problems are you currently dealing with? What went wrong at work today? You are probably familiar with this situation, aren’t you?

One thing is certain: Falling asleep definitely won't work this way. In situations such as this one, it’s often helpful to write down the things that concern you. Take a short moment and write down all your worries, to-do’s and problems. You will probably notice that many problems can be solved unexpectedly easily or that worrying about them late in the night won’t help anyway. This realization alone can be so relieving that it leaves you more relaxed and ready to fall asleep.

6. Put your smartphone away

Your smartphone not only distracts you from sleeping – its blue light is also said to inhibit the production of melatonin, an important hormone that controls the day-night rhythm of the human body. Instead of looking at memes before sleep, try reading a book. You should also avoid deeper conversations in bed, as they too can leave you excited or emotional.

7. Sports? Yes! But when?

Exercising during the day will help you fall asleep much easier, yes – as long as you don't complete your training session immediately before bedtime. After exercising, your body needs some time to switch off and relax. It is generally advisable to do sports at least two to three hours before going to bed. Even better: afternoon workouts.

8. Counting sheep - is this a myth?

Everyone has tried counting sheep to fall asleep – but does it really help? In fact, it doesn't really matter whether you are counting sheep, cows or BODDELS. It all comes down to the admittedly boring counting process itself. This is exactly where the trick lies: monotonous counting distracts you from problems and thoughts! But it is just as helpful to think of a beautiful landscape.

9. Pay attention to what you drink

What we eat (and drink) throughout the day affects our sleep quality. It is advisable not to eat heavy meals shortly before going to bed to relieve your digestion. Pay attention to when you’re consuming caffeine – for particularly sensitive people, it is advisable to avoid caffeinated coffee, black and green tea in the late afternoon.

The same also applies to alcohol, as the appearance of better sleep under the influence of alcohol is deceptive. It is true that many people find it much easier to fall asleep after drinking alcohol, but the quality of sleep is significantly impaired.

In contrast to coffee and alcohol, some teas can have a very calming effect. Herbal teas such as hops, lemon balm or valerian roots are particularly suitable as an evening ritual before going to bed.

10. Don't think about sleeping

One simple rule: Sleep cannot be forced! Unfortunately, the convulsive attempt to finally fall asleep has the opposite effect most of the time. Try distracting yourself a little – for example by reading or listening to music.

These tips will hopefully help you improve your sleep quality in the long run. If you are still having problems finding restful sleep and your everyday life is affected by these problems, it may be advisable to see a doctor. They can test whether an illness such as high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid, depression or nocturnal breathing interruptions are the reason for your insomnia and can help you treat it.

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