First of all: It does not necessarily depend on how long we sleep. It cannot be said as a general rule that every adult should sleep at least eight hours and a maximum of nine. What we can improve, however, is our “sensitive” sleep situation. And we can do this by adhering to what is known as sleep hygiene.
How long we sleep is also genetically determined: some people manage perfectly well with six hours of sleep, while others need nine or even ten to be fully asleep – Albert Einstein, for example, slept twelve hours a night; Napoleon, on the other hand, only four.
Sleep hygiene means cultivating certain habits that enable healthy, restful sleep or avoiding habits that disrupt it. Regular sleeping times, sleep rituals and targeted relaxation before going to bed are recommended.
No sooner said than done. When researching an evening routine, I come across various methods and tips. From meditation and regular exercise to giving up alcohol, cigarettes and coffee.
Play some relaxing games
Contrary to popular belief, some games can actually help you relax and sleep. The effect of gaming is arguable, but it does affect your sleep both positively and negatively. How long you play any game before you sleep, be it arcade, racing, online casino or puzzle, really makes a difference as long playing hours are strenuous. So, just pick up your phone, tablet or laptop for a quick game and get to sleep within 15 minutes.
No Nicotine or Caffeine
Caffeine makes it difficult for us to fall asleep, and we also sleep lightly and too briefly. The evening routine here should begin in the early afternoon, and we should avoid coffee. It can take five hours for only half of the caffeine to dissipate.
Yes, alcohol makes us tired and makes us fall asleep faster. But it does not make us sleep better. In fact, regular alcohol consumption causes real sleep disorders in the long run.
And nicotine? That also wakes us up. Hours after the last cigarette, it still disturbs sleep hygiene. Even in the long term: almost one in three smokers sleep badly regularly. One reason is that nicotine levels drop at night.
Scientific studies show: slow, controlled breathing lowers the heartbeat and blood pressure and thus calms the whole body. For me, the 4-7-8 technique has helped quite a bit.
The 4-7-8 technique is
Sit on your bed with your back straight, press the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, just behind your incisors, and close your mouth. Then inhale through your nose, counting to four. Hold the breath for seven beats and then slowly exhale through the mouth again, virtually past the tongue, for eight beats.
You should repeat the whole thing at least three times. Or until you feel calmer. Meditation has a very similar effect. Meditation apps can help with this. There are also numerous relaxation and other breathing exercises on the internet.
The Right Music helps
Quiet classical music during the evening routine can help you sleep better. It should be chosen so that it gently fades out after some time. An abrupt end can wake us up again.
Studies estimate that 30 of 35 test persons who listened to relaxing music to fall asleep had no more sleep disturbances after three weeks. Symptoms of depression also decreased significantly in the test persons.
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