A good night’s sleep is an essential prerequisite for physical and mental fitness. It sounds simple, but it's a problem for many people, and maybe for you too. Learn more about
- Why is sleep so important?
- Sleep disorders are widespread
- Natural sleep aids
- Food supplements for better sleep
and get numerous tips on how you can sleep better.
Why is sleep so important?
When well-rested, you are physically and mentally awake, look good, and are active and balanced. You can cope with a short night or two, but in the long run, a permanent lack of sleep makes you mentally and physically ill.
But what exactly happens while you sleep? Especially in the deep sleep phase, your blood pressure drops, and your pulse slows down. This relieves your cardiovascular system and reduces the risk of strokes and heart disease.Better sleep also strengthens your immune system because, during sleep, it is fully concentrated on fighting off pathogens. Sleep is the best medicine - there is a lot of truth in this saying.
Nevertheless, your brain works night shifts. Brain researchers assume that at night it organizes the flood of information during the day, processes emotional impressions, and stores important information in the long-term memory. That is why restful sleep is also indispensable for a stable mental state.
The quality of your sleep also has an impact on your metabolism. Sleep disorders can cause obesity and metabolic disorders, even serious diseases such as diabetes mellitus. If you lack restful sleep, your overall health and performance are at extreme risk.
One cannot measure restful sleep exactly in hours. Therefore, general recommendations do not necessarily apply to you. What is important is that you feel well-rested and fit when the alarm goes off — sleeping better means, first and foremost, sleeping better. Nevertheless, specific guidelines give you a rough orientation.
Sleep disorders are widespread
Restless nights due to illness, for example, a cold or resulting from particularly stressful experiences during the day, need not worry you. But if you are one of those who regularly lie awake at night, tossing and turning and unable to switch off, you may be suffering from a severe sleep disorder. However, you are not alone in this. More and more people have problems falling asleep in the evening, while others cannot sleep through the night or feel constantly sleepy during the day. The DAK health report from 2017 even mentions that sleep disorders have increased by 66% among working people between 35 and 65 since 2010.
If you have insomnia, you are not coping well with the stress of the day. Every nightly glance at the clock causes further stress. A spiral causes secondary symptoms such as headaches, nervousness, concentration problems, increased irritability, poor performance, and a disturbing feeling of cold or hunger. There is also an increased risk of accidents. But don't just consider the physical symptoms. Persistent sleep deprivation can also lead to psychological problems. Better sleep is therefore beneficial to your health in any case.
Researchers see a clear connection between sleep disorders and today's lifestyle. A hectic everyday life, a flood of information, being constantly available, writing the last emails in bed at night, too much coffee, shift work, air travel to other time zones, all this disturbs your inner clock enormously. It makes it difficult for you to rest at night. The massive use of artificial light in the evening also affects your natural rhythm. When big cities are lit up even at night, your body loses its orientation and no longer knows when it is day and when it is night. This, in turn, affects the release of the sleep hormone melatonin and thus directly affects your sleep itself.
Tips for better sleep
You certainly can't and don't want to turn your life completely upside down to improve your sleep quality. And you don't have to. Even small changes in your daily routine can have a significant effect if you implement them consistently. With the following simple tips, you are guaranteed to sleep better:
The bedroom is your quiet zone. Take this into account when choosing colors and furnishings. Too much chaos irritates your senses. The quality of your sleep also depends on what you associate with your bed. To make it a place of relaxation, tablets, mobile phones, TVs, or magazines have no place in bed. This way, your body learns to associate your bed exclusively with sleep.
Air the bedroom
For a healthy indoor climate, you must supply your bedroom with sufficient fresh air. Open the windows in the morning and the evening and air the room for at least 15 minutes or further extended in the summer so that the space can cool down. If the noise level allows it, you can also sleep with the window open. On cold winter days, five minutes of cross-ventilation is enough to prevent your bedroom from cooling down too much.
You sleep better in cool rooms. Therefore, make sure that the bedroom temperature is between 16 and 19 degrees.
No blue light
A darkened bedroom is an advantage. However, the light from smartphones and tablets is just as disturbing as daylight because the high blue light content in the displays inhibits the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. It is, therefore, better to switch off these devices at night. Some newer smartphones offer a night mode that at least reduces the short-wave blue light.
If you have trouble sleeping, it is better to avoid coffee or other caffeinated drinks from late afternoon onwards because caffeine is a wakefulness stimulant that considerably disturbs falling asleep and staying asleep.
No heavy food
Greasy, rich meals put a strain on the body and also contribute to poor sleep. A light meal is eaten 2 to 3 hours before bedtime gives your body time to digest and ensures that neither an overfilled stomach nor hunger pangs deprive you of sleep.
Go for a walk
Sufficient exercise is conducive to a good night's sleep. However, it's better not to do a strenuous workout right before bedtime. A walk or targeted relaxation exercises are more likely to switch your body and mind into rest mode.
Are you very stressed and can't switch off in the evening? Then meditation techniques can help you find more inner peace. The best way to find out which method is suitable for you is to try it out. Courses, literature, or the internet can help you.
If stress and worries plague you, don't think about them in bed. If you can't stop brooding, it's better to get up again. Maybe it helps to write down stressful thoughts on paper or make a to-do list for the next day. Because what is written down is out of your head for the time being.
Natural sleep aids
Changing your evening rituals is not enough for you? Do you need more support and want to sleep better with proven, well-tolerated home remedies? Fortunately, nature still has a few arrows in its quiver for you, namely herbal active ingredients that alleviate your sleep problems. They are available individually or in combination with each other. They are known as capsules, drops, or oil and also as tea or bath additives. Particularly proven and well-known are:
The interaction of various active ingredients from the root of the valerian plant reduces inner restlessness and has a positive effect on sleep. Many people with sleep problems consider valerian to be the best natural sleep aid and it is therefore also contained in the YUNOS Sleep Capsules.
Hops are also known as a natural remedy that improves sleep. The extract from the female cones is similar in effect to valerian.
Another popular home remedy is the essential oil of lavender flowers. If you sleep restlessly and wake up frequently, the soothing ingredients of lavender will help you sleep better.
For centuries, lemon balm has been cultivated as a spice or medicinal plant. The extract from the leaves of lemon balm brings calm to the nervous system and is used in numerous natural remedies.
The passionflower also belongs to the list of medicinal plants that are said to have a sleep-promoting effect. Its herb contains flavonoids, which are secondary plant compounds that reduce tension and anxiety.
Food supplements for better sleep
A crucial factor is your diet. If you supply your body with sufficient amounts of certain micronutrients, amino acids, and particular hormones, you will automatically sleep better. Food supplements that contain these sleep-promoting substances support you efficiently.
Sleeping better with magnesium is undoubtedly possible because magnesium regulates the nerves’ excitability and stabilizes the muscles’ relaxation, essential for healthy sleep. A serum magnesium level that is too low is a potential trigger for sleep disturbances due to muscle cramps or an overstimulated nervous system, even heart palpitations.
Besides magnesium, the mineral potassium also contributes to the normal function of muscle and nerve cells. Therefore, make sure you also have a sufficient supply of potassium.
The trace element zinc plays a vital role in the metabolism of neurotransmitters. A good supply of zinc relaxes your nervous system, which in turn helps you sleep better.
In many cases of poor sleep, the body lacks vitamin C, which is involved in the synthesis of serotonin. The neurotransmitter serotonin promotes sleep because it has a calming and relaxing effect. A vitamin C deficit, therefore, harms the quality of your sleep.
The typical signs of a vitamin D deficiency also include sleep disorders. Although your body can produce vitamin D itself, it needs sufficient sunlight to do so. In winter, up to 50 percent of the population in this country is considered to be deficient. It is better to discuss vitamin D therapy with your doctor, as overdosing can be harmful.
Your body needs the conversion of proteins and carbohydrates into glucose. A lack of glucose causes an excessive drop in blood sugar levels and consequently an increased release of the hormone adrenaline. This can result in muscle twitching, cramps, and abnormal brain activity that disrupts your sleep. Waking up too early can also be the cause of vitamin B6 deficiency.
Depression and anxiety disorders, which harm the quality of your sleep, are associated with a lack of folic acid, among other things. If you suffer from sleep disorders, make sure you have an adequate supply of folic acid.
The smallest of all amino acids affects shortening the phase of falling asleep, among other things. As a neuronal messenger, it blocks the transmission of stimuli to the brain and thus supports melatonin synthesis. Although the body produces glycine itself, it still makes sense to take it in with a dietary supplement such as the YUNOS Sleep Capsules because it compensates for a low level and stimulates the body's production.
The body's sleep hormone melatonin deserves special attention. It is produced in the pineal gland and regulates the sleep-wake rhythm. A high concentration at night ensures that you sleep better. With increasing age, the body's melatonin production continuously decreases, resulting in sleep disturbances in older people. When you supplement melatonin with a food supplement, you shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and can sleep better overall without suffering from sleepiness during the day.