The 10 best tips for better sleep
Aktualisiert: 4. Aug 2019
A good, sufficiently long (individually between 6-8 hours) and deep sleep is the basic prerequisite for an optimal regeneration of the entire organism (physical and psychological). For this reason we should create the optimal conditions for it.
I have listed the 10 most important tips from my point of view here in this short article:
Light regulates our biological clock, mainly via the hormone melatonin, which "tells" our body it is time to sleep. Especially the blue part portion of the light, which is emitted by sunlight, but also by TV-screens, PC-screens, mobile phones, etc., interrupts or inhibits the production of melatonin. (1)
Meanwhile, there are already many programs that reduce the proportion of blue light in the devices, which ensures a better sleep. These programs can be set so that they automatically reduce the blue proportion of the light 2 hours before you got to sleep. In general you should avoid bright light sources before going to sleep. You should also try to darken your room as good as possible. Another option would be to sleep with an eye shield. (2)
2 hours before sleeping you should avoid bright light sources and blue light and darken the bedroom accordingly well or use an eye shield.
Just like light, sounds can also disturb sleep, depending on what kind of sounds they are. A quietly humming air conditioner will disturb sleep less than discotheque noise, a slam of a door or conversations, but any kind of noise will affect sleep quality. Try to shield your bedroom as much as possible from noise. (3)(4)(5)
Avoid reducing your sleep quality by noises and use earplugs if needed.
Your sleep quality will be diminished if the temperature in your bedroom is increasing your body core temperature. (6)
A too high temperature in the bedroom can affect the quality of sleep more than noise can. (7)
Too warm ambient temperature in the bedroom can negatively influence the sleep quality, whereby rather cooler temperatures positively influence the sleep and one also falls asleep faster.
Alcohol calms/inhibits the central nervous system, so people usually think it helps to fall asleep, but research has shown that exactly the opposite is the case. It is easier to fall asleep, but the quality of sleep is negatively affected afterwards. Additionally the body has to break down the alcohol, which stresses the body. (8)(9)
Avoid alcohol to supposedly improve your sleep, your sleep quality will suffer from it.
Caffeine certainly has its positive effects, but when it comes to sleep, caffeine should be avoided in the evening as it raises the mood (increases dopamine) and has activating effects.(10)
You shouldn't consume caffeine six hours before you go to sleep. Even if you have no problems falling asleep, it will have a negative effect on your sleep quality.
Does training during the day improve the quality of sleep? Or does better sleep improve training quality or both? Well, science has no real answer for that, it probably depends on the individual person. This means how much training one can tolerate depends on one´s given life circumstances etc. so that is always difficult to say. But a well-balanced training (from light to intensive), with enough recovery, suitable nutrition and enough sleep, certainly improves the quality of sleep.
The sleeping habits, i.e. the times when you go to bed and get up again in the morning, should always be about the same. The body basically has a biological clock that tells it exactly, when it should get up in the morning or got to sleep once it gets darker outside. This inner clock should not be disturbed. You should try to keep your evening routine always about the same before going to sleep. This also applies for the time when you go to sleep.
It has been shown that a magnesium deficiency leads to reduced sleep quality, so you should take care to take enough magnesium within your nourishment. If you have problems covering the magnesium deficiency you can also resort to dietary supplements, which can help you to compensate the deficiency and thus increase the sleep quality again.
sources: (1) Bedrosian TA, Nelson RJ. Timing of light exposure affects mood and brain circuits . Transl Psychiatry. (2017)
(2) Skeldon AC, Phillips AJ, Dijk DJ. The effects of self-selected light-dark cycles and social constraints on human sleep and circadian timing: a modeling approach . Sci Rep. (2017)
(3) Basner M, et al. ICBEN review of research on the biological effects of noise 2011-2014 . Noise Health. (2015)
(4) Halperin D. Environmental noise and sleep disturbances: A threat to health? . Sleep Sci. (2014)
(5) Hume KI, Brink M, Basner M. Effects of environmental noise on sleep . Noise Health. (2012)
(6) Lack LC, et al. The relationship between insomnia and body temperatures . Sleep Med Rev. (2008)
(7) Libert JP, et al. Relative and combined effects of heat and noise exposure on sleep in humans . Sleep. (1991)
(8) Park SY, et al. The Effects of Alcohol on Quality of Sleep . Korean J Fam Med. (2015)
(9) Stone BM. Sleep and low doses of alcohol . Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. (1980)
(10) Holtzman SG. CGS 15943, a nonxanthine adenosine receptor antagonist: effects on locomotor activity of nontolerant and caffeine-tolerant rats . Life Sci. (1991)
(11) Nielsen FH, Johnson LK, Zeng H. Magnesium supplementation improves indicators of low magnesium status and inflammatory stress in adults older than 51 years with poor quality sleep . Magnes Res. (2010)
(12) Held K, et al. Oral Mg(2+) supplementation reverses age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes in humans . Pharmacopsychiatry. (2002)
(13) Nielsen FH, Lukaski HC. Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise . Magnes Res. (2006)