In this blog I refer to several articles in Dutch. But as these are really interesting, I still want to share these with you. You can use Google translate to translate the text to the language you prefer.
For many people with chronic pain, getting a good night's sleep can be a challenge. That is why in this blog I give 25 tips to sleep better (in no particular order).
Provide clean and sufficient ventilation in your bedroom. Always leave a window open.
Darken your room as much as possible. The more dark, the better. Light has a lot of influence on our sleep-wake rhythm.
Make sure you go to bed relaxed, you do this by plenty of relaxing in the evening. Try not to do any active and/or exciting things for at least an hour before going to bed. (the next two tips may help)
Read! I was never much of a reader myself until I discovered it's soothing power. Now I read almost every night for half an hour before I go to sleep. Avoid heavy and/or overly dramatic material that will keep you thinking.
Meditation is a good tool to completely empty your head and relax. An easy way to meditate is to concentrate on your breathing. Try to be very conscious of your breathing and not to think about other things.
An active lifestyle, for example by exercising enough, a good night's sleep. It is best not to exercise or otherwise be very active just before going to bed (about 2 to 3 hours before going to sleep).
Do not leave the heating on at night. A cool temperature is best for a good night's sleep. 15 to 16 degrees celcius is an ideal sleeping temperature.
Make sure you get enough sleep during the day and that your artificial light is limited in the evening. Dim your lights about an hour before bedtime so that the production of the sleep hormone melatonin is distributed throughout the body. You can read all about this in the article "the influence of daylight".
Daylight has a lot of influence on your sleep quality
Your sleep rhythm also has a lot of influence on your sleep quality. Go to bed at (reasonably) fixed times and get up at fixed times. Don't deviate too much from this during the weekend either, because your sleep-wake rhythm can be easily disturbed! This is also the reason that we often sleep worse on Sundays.
Don't take power naps and siestas, these only make you more tired because you don't get a deep sleep and/or long enough sleep to really recover. It also disturbes the sleep-wake rhythm. In countries where a siesta is normal, this will probably be different, here it is part of a normal sleep-wake rhythm or sleep pattern.
We do not live in Spain
Try not to lie awake in bed for a long time. If you really can't sleep, it's even better to get out of bed and do something relaxing so that you fall asleep more easily afterwards. It is of course best to ensure that you go to bed completely relaxed by, for example, reading or meditating before going to sleep.
A fixed evening ritual helps you fall asleep better. If you fixed pattern in the evening, for example an hour before going to bed, your body and subconscious will (unconsciously) start to recognize this at some point. Your body and mind will start getting "signals" that it's almost time to go to sleep, and it starts to "get ready" by producing sleep hormones.
Turn off electronic devices as much as possible. Think of computers, cordless telephones and mobile devices, your modem, etc. The electrical waves that these devices emit could have a major impact on our sleep. There are many discussions about the influence and possible dangers of radiation and electric waves on health. A disturbed situation is sometimes also often mentioned. Hard evidence doesn't seem to be there yet, but it is a fact that there are many studies, stories, experiences and coincidences that indicate that it is not quite right to be linked to it all day and night. In any case, I try to take this into account myself and would recommend it to you too. There will certainly be an article about this on InSlaap next. Because there is so much discussion and various sources of information about this, I want to thoroughly examine this before I make any statements.
In any case, it can't hurt to turn them off
Try (all day) breathing exercises to learn and do the last breathing exercises before going to sleep.
Do not eat heavy meals a few hours before going to bed. If your body is still busy digesting your food, this can keep you awake. You can read more here than in the article "Poor sleep due to choice of food".
Drink herbal tea before bed. No regular tea (and certainly no coffee) that contains theine/caffeine. This has a stimulating effect and keeps you awake! Do not drink too much, because then you might have to get out of bed in the middle of the night for a bathroom visit.
Try not to drink too much caffeine during the day either. Limit your coffee consumption to 2 - 3 cups per day. It is also best to stop drinking coffee as early as possible. For example, I don't drink coffee after 4 p.m.
Some foods promote the production of melatonin (sleep hormone). Examples include milk and bananas. It is therefore no myth that a cup of warm milk before going to bed is good for sleep!
Stop snoozing! Yes, there she is again with her snoozes, I know. I won't say another word about it. If you haven't read the previous articles about snoozing yet, I recommend you do so.
A hot shower, or even better, a warm bath in the evening helps you relax and sleep well.
A plant in your room is great, but not too much! Too many plants in your bedroom keep your mind active.
Make sure it's quiet in your bedroom (as far as possible). This may sound logical, but there are plenty of people who, for example, sleep with their TV on! Not smart! It can prevent you from falling into a deep sleep, and you wake up quickly when you end up in a light sleep. Light and deep sleep alternate so this happens several times a night, you can read exactly how this works in the article about how the sleep cycle works.
Do you sleep with your TV on?
Smoking and alcohol are bad for your sleep quality. Alcohol may make you fall asleep easier, but it ensures that you sleep less deeply and wake up faster. (regardless of the state in which you wake up in the morning).
I am very happy with an alarm clock application for my mobile phone called Sleep Cycle. This does not wake you up at a fixed time, but takes a small margin (to be determined by yourself, for example between 6:40 and 7:00) to wake you up when you are in a light sleep. (The app can determine that by analyzing your movement). You wake up much better and nicer from a light sleep. The biggest disadvantage of this is that you have to sleep with your cell phone next to your head. I put my mobile on airplane mode to limit electronic waves / WiFi radiation.
Get enough sleep! Yes duh, make sure you get enough sleep of course. If you are completely broken every morning (and during the day), you don't sleep enough or not well enough! Then it is really important to either go to bed earlier, OR improve your sleep quality by applying the above tips.
Of course you don't have to immediately apply all 25 sleeping tips (you can) to achieve a good night's sleep. Pick out a few that appeal to you. I myself do quite a lot of the above tips, but I really don't do them all! I hope you found it a nice and useful (anniversary) article, and that it helps you to sleep better!