Sleep Aid: Why Can’t I Fall Asleep? These 9 tips will help
Going to bed and then not being able to sleep for ages? Many of us know that. There can be many reasons for sleep problems, including too much alcohol, certain medications, hormonal changes (such as pregnancy, menopause or thyroid disease), poor diet, diseases (such as diabetes, sleep apnea or heart disease), chronic pain, stress or even a emotional imbalance, where our thoughts do not rest, can be responsible for the difficulty in falling asleep.
DANGER! If you are unable to fall asleep several times a week and/or the symptoms persist for more than four weeks, it is time to see a doctor to rule out possible diseases that could be responsible for the sleep disorders!
What happens if I don’t sleep well all the time?
Anyone who lies awake late in the evening is tired, unfocused, less productive and/or in a bad mood during the day. A bad sleeper is more prone to depression, obesity, cardiovascular disorders and/or metabolic diseases. That means we all need healthy sleep to stay mentally and physically fit.
Sleeping Aid: What Works Best?
Before you resort to medication to help you fall asleep, it’s worth checking your sleep hygiene (the right temperature, a comfortable sleeping environment, etc.) or yours sleep routine (same bedtimes, a similar sequence in the 30 minutes before bedtime) and – if necessary – change or at least adapt. If you have established a healthy sleep hygiene or routine, your body can adapt better to sleep. In this way, sleep disorders can very likely be prevented, provided they have no health cause.
Tip: Keep a sleep diary for a week or two, writing down everything related to your sleep: When do you go to bed? what do you eat in the evening until when do you sleep What do you do in the half hour before bed? In this way, try to identify the sleep disruptors and then tackle them.
9 tips to help you fall asleep
Pay attention to the following things to help you fall asleep faster:
- do not do any strenuous exercise in the two hours before bedtime (an evening walk or a relaxing yoga session is allowed)
- no heavy, greasy meals in the evening
- eat your last meal about three hours before you go to sleep
- no cell phone or computer use at least half an hour to an hour before bedtime
- Avoid stress and psychological strain as much as possible
- ensure the optimal room climate (among other things, air the bedroom before going to sleep, do not store any technical devices in the bedroom, keep the bedroom dark, switch off noise sources)
- Avoid alcohol and nicotine before bed
- don’t take a nap
- engage in physical activity/movement during the day
The best sleep aid for the thought carousel
As soon as we are in bed, thoughts are circling wildly in our heads. What do you have to do at work tomorrow? What else do I have to buy for the weekend? Tip: Keep a notebook by the bed to write down things that are bothering you. Once noted, the thoughts can (for the time being) disappear from your head again, and hopefully you will fall asleep faster. But really use pen and paper for this and not your cell phone or your computer. So you don’t “accidentally” scroll through Instagram or Facebook after writing it down…
If you have trouble sleeping: stay in bed or get up?
It’s better to get up and do something relaxing that promotes sleep than toss and turn in bed for hours, say sleep experts. For example, reading a book, drinking a cup of soothing herbal tea, and then going back to bed when the tiredness sets in.
What if I can’t sleep through the night?
You can read everything you need to know about insomnia here.
Sleep aid: breathing, meditation, yoga, autogenic training
Anyone who often has trouble falling asleep and does not suffer from an illness that is responsible for it can counteract the sleep disorders with targeted breathing, meditation, yoga or autogenic training. The focus here is to calm the mind and body. A device with white noise can also help you fall asleep. White noise or the sound of waves have a sleep-inducing effect. The devices are already available for little money, for example via Amazon.
How to fall asleep in 2 minutes?
Breathing techniques bring focus to breathing and help you relax. For example, the 4-7-8 breathing is effective. The simplified version of this goes like this: Put the tip of your tongue behind your front teeth and take a deep breath four through your nose for a few seconds, then hold your breath for seven Seconds and breathe for eight Seconds (preferably noisy and releasing) through the mouth. Repeat the breathing technique a few times in a row. The exercise calms the nervous system and makes you more tired.
Home remedies to help you fall asleep: warm bath, lavender & Co.
If you have trouble falling asleep, you can also try home remedies. A warm bath or hot shower one to two hours before bed is said to promote sleep. The body is then relaxed and the core temperature is lowered. This creates optimal sleeping conditions. Herbal or natural additives such as lemon balm or lavender can still support the sleep-inducing bath. A glass of milk with honey is also said to promote sleep and be effective as a sleep aid. Just like putting a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow or sleeping on a pine pillow.
Sleeping pills to help you fall asleep
If the above changes in sleeping habits don’t help, you can resort to medication. However, these should only be used for a short time, as they tackle the problems but not the cause. Please seek advice on this from the pharmacy or your doctor!