You know how important sleep is for the body’s balance and quality of life. Getting good rest is the basis for good physical, psychological and emotional functioning. If you don’t get enough or not enough sleep, it is bad for your health in the long run. how to sleep well
Believe it or not, we sleep almost a third of our life. And yet, one in three adults either do not get enough sleep or enjoy restful sleep.
And things happen overnight: the body regenerates and grows, muscle pain is erased, learning is consolidated and a great cleaning takes place in the emotional sphere.
However, too often, we neglect the essential periods of rest and we shorten the nights which should always be restorative. We should sleep well every night. Here are the practical tips to succeed in the challenge …
A sleep routine
To fall asleep quickly at night, you should try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This is an ideal way to reprogram your internal clock.
The body does not obey the finger and the eye. It takes some time to adapt to go from awake to sleeping.
We can therefore establish a “sleep routine” to ritualize, each evening, the last moments of the day, just before going to sleep.
Soft music, a few pages of reading, a lukewarm bath… It is up to everyone to decide and find the formula that will best prepare their body to fully rest.
No sleep in
Intuitively, we can think that sleeping in can recover late sleep. Nothing is more false: it is a received idea.
Sleeping in disrupts the internal clock and this inevitably has consequences the nights and mornings that follow.
By getting up at the same time every day (weekends included), you feel better, you have more energy and you find time for yourself. Above all, we improve our sleep.
Easier said than done ? When you don’t have to get up, it’s true that you tend to want to take advantage of it to stay in bed. But it’s like sports training: by forcing yourself at first, we will make these small efforts profitable in the long term.
Of course, we can allow ourselves exceptions for the evenings that end early!
In perpetual motion
Often modern life does not help us sleep naturally. Between the stressful blasts, the ubiquitous screens all around us and the hectic activities at the office, everything is done to make us run without ever breathing.
But the worst part is life at the office. We are not programmed to spend eight hours a day sitting in a chair in front of a computer.
The body is made to move, to be active. He is also endowed with great endurance which allows him to hold out throughout the day.
It is therefore in your best interest to avoid immobility, to walk around and, if possible, to get up from your chair at least once an hour during the day.
It is the surest way to burn off energy, to get tired and, in the evening, to take advantage of a good sleep to recover.
People who suffer from sleep disorders tend to enter a vicious circle: lack of sleep makes them tired and fatigue is not very motivating to play sports.
We do not recommend playing sports or physical exercises within three hours of going to bed. On the other hand, any sporting activity during the day is very favorable to the quality of sleep during the night.
Studies have shown that 40 minutes of running or brisk walking three times a week prolongs the duration of deep sleep.
Exercise is therefore the best natural remedy for sleep problems in women and the elderly.
Doing 30 minutes of gentle physical activity (walking, swimming, etc.) a day can change everything. You feel better, you reduce your stress, and in addition you send a message to your body: “if I am spending energy during the day, I need to recover well during the night. “
By striving to move a little more on a daily basis, we gradually transform the vicious circle of “bad sleep / heavy fatigue” into a virtuous circle of “energy expenditure / recovery”.
How to sleep well with a good mattress
A good night’s sleep necessarily starts with a good mattress. The mattress you choose is a major decision for your quality of adult life, especially since it is not changed every four mornings.
You must guide your choice by considering priorities such as firmness, edge support, sleeping position and level of cooling …
The only real way to assess the firmness level of a mattress is to try it right at the store. When we sleep together, we try the mattresses together before buying, and taking our time.
Lying on the mattress, you try to pass your hand between your loins and the mattress. If it is successful, it is a bad sign: it is too firm.
Then we change our position. If it’s laborious, it’s too flexible.
Finally, we push the elbow into the mattress. If the hollow remains marked, the model is too soft.
The final choice is then a matter of feeling, well-being and price. And don’t forget to return your mattress every three months.
Hot bath or cold shower?
Contrary to popular belief, taking a hot bath does not help sleep. On the contrary. Heat excites while cold numbs. To rest, the body reduces its physical activity and cools down.
Taking a cold shower instead of a hot bath makes this step easier. The body has already cooled down and can now fall asleep.
If you don’t really want to take a cold shower, the technique is to start with hot water, then gradually lower the temperature, until the hot water flow is completely cut off.
We stay under cold water for about 1 minute before going out. At that moment, we feel good: toned and relaxed. All you have to do is get to bed and fall asleep.
If you absolutely want to take a hot bath before going to bed, you will do it a long time before going to bed, at least an hour and a half before! The body temperature will then have time to come back down to send the body the message that it is time to sleep.
A little nap
The nap is not a manifestation of laziness, but often a real need.
Taking a nap is a great idea when you’re sleepy, no matter what time of day. But we recommend naps of less than 20 or 25 minutes because beyond this time, we encroach on our sleep capital.
The most effective nap is the one between 1 and 2 p.m. because there is a small dip in temperature at that time.
The production of cortisol decreases (it is the neurohormone that wakes us up and prompts us to take action), which causes a decrease in concentration, physical strength and intellectual acuity.
Everyone feels this temptation more or less after lunch. For some, it’s just a little “tiredness” that goes away after a few minutes, while for others, the need for sleep is real.
What will vary between individuals is the magnitude of the drop in attention. In those who need a daily nap, the drop in concentration is often sudden and must be remedied.
During the nap, growth hormone is produced which is regenerating. Small naps are thus beneficial because they regenerate alertness, boost the ability to concentrate and promote the following night.
Who dines sleeps?
When we sleep, the body functions slow down. Especially digestion. To make it easier, avoid overeating before going to bed.
When you dine extensively, the night’s sleep that follows is often restless and disturbed. We sweat, we wake up, we roll over in bed.
In short, we sleep badly and we end up getting up tired from this bad night’s sleep. Sleep and digestion intimately linked.
To sleep well, your body temperature must drop. The digestion of food increases thermogenesis which depends directly on the nutrients ingested (therefore the food consumed).
The amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, alcohol and spices have a direct influence on food thermogenesis.
If dinner is too high in protein or fat, digestion slows down, thermogenesis increases, and so does body temperature. However, if the body temperature does not drop, sleep is disturbed.
If the dinner is too heavy, the metabolism being slower at night, digestion takes longer and can cause gastric reflux or other digestive problems that can disrupt sleep and cause insomnia.
Likewise, going to bed on an empty stomach will not help you sleep better. When the stomach is hungry, our brains also stay alert and it becomes difficult to rest properly.
No caffeine in the evening
Coffee contains caffeine of course, but also phenolic acids (antioxidant), potassium, magnesium, phosphorus… It is very low in calories, around 2 calories per cup.
This beverage, synonymous with pleasure and conviviality, is as much criticized as it is acclaimed. We no longer know whether to ban or privilege it.
Many studies show the benefits of three cups of coffee a day against heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers.
But beware, coffee being a stimulant, it should not be abused. The health of the coffee drinker must be taken into account in determining the true consequences.
Coffee can increase the risk of cardiovascular events if overused, but especially if the person who drinks coffee is overweight, smokes, or has high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
One thing seems to be unanimous in the scientific community: after a certain time, coffee can have an adverse effect on sleep. We find ourselves lying in bed, waiting for a sleep that does not come.
This is when caffeine interacts with adenosine, a component found in the brain that slows down nerve activity. Caffeine binds to adenosine receptors and prevents the individual from feeling tired. What to prepare for a beautiful insomnia.
A large consumption of coffee (especially in the evening) causes drops in the quality of sleep, which becomes both shallower and less restful.
Some doctors advise against drinking coffee after 2 p.m. (the coffee that ends lunch) so as not to interfere with sleep.
So we can drink coffee, of course, but always in moderation. Especially if you have sleep disorders!