Poor sleep negatively impacts your health. But although most people are aware of this, they do not know what they can do to ensure a healthy sleep. You can find out how sleep optimization works properly in this article.
Sleep disorders can take many forms. Be it that you have trouble falling asleep, wake up frequently at night or suffer from non-restorative sleep due to other factors. The consequences are negative effects on your health. A lack of mental performance and physical weakness are just one example. The consequences usually appear in the form of headaches, depressed mood and concentration problems. In the long term, sleep disorders can even lead to serious illnesses.
You can find everything about sleep in our large technical article!
If you recognize yourself in these points, you should definitely work on your sleep quality. Even with small and easy-to-implement changes, including in your behavior, you can do something good for your sleep quality - and thus your health.
This is why sleep is so important to your health
Sleep is vital for the human body and psyche. Sleep is by no means a passive state. Although breathing and heart rate slow down, both the brain and other areas of the body work at full speed.
The following processes take place during this time:
- the neural network of the brain regenerates
- Released growth hormones support the regeneration of bones, muscles and organs
- the number of killer cells, antibodies and defense cells in the blood increases
- the metabolism runs at full speed: metabolic products are broken down, proteins are formed and energy stores are replenished
These processes are responsible for the optimal functioning of the human body and brain. They are disturbed by problems sleeping. This leads to unwanted headaches or concentration problems in the short term and can lead to serious illnesses in the long term. Sleep optimization is therefore important for your health.
The sleeping environment
The right sleeping environment is particularly important for your sleep. You can pay attention to 4 points:
For a healthy sleep, the room temperature should be lower than in the other rooms. During sleep, body temperature naturally drops. A room temperature that is too high prevents this and thus ensures a restless sleep. At the same time, the room must not be too cold, otherwise your body will cool down. This prevents deep sleep and makes you wake up more often during the night. To avoid this, a temperature of 16 to 18 degrees is recommended.
Lighting conditions also affect your sleep. You control that day-night rhythm your body. Darkness stimulates the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Light sources, such as street lamps, car headlights or screens, on the other hand, disturb your hormonal balance. You should therefore equip your room with blackout curtains and switch off all light sources. If this is not possible, you can use a sleep mask. Noise is just as bad. They keep you awake, increase stress and, at worst, make you irritable. If in doubt, earplugs can help here. In this way, sleep disorders can be effectively avoided.
The last point concerns the fresh air supply. Air your room for at least 15 minutes before bed. This ensures a sufficient concentration of oxygen in the room and increases the quality of sleep. If the outside temperature allows it, you can also leave the window open at night.
In the hour before bed, it's important to lower your stress levels and relax. So avoid anything that might wear you down. This includes, for example, complicated tasks or heated discussions with the family. Instead, try to do things that help you calm down. You can go for a short walk in the evening, listen to quiet music or read a book. If you are interested, you can also try meditation. In the best case, you do these things every day and create a ritual. This will help your body prepare for sleep and you will sleep better.
In addition, you should avoid digital media before you go to sleep. The high proportion of blue light on the screens of smartphones, TV sets and computers inhibits the production of melatonin. It wakes up your brain and delays the release of melatonin - and thus sleep. The result is problems falling asleep. You can avoid this by not using your smartphone or other devices for at least an hour before bed. In addition, you can use a blue light filter throughout the evening.
Physical activity during the day
If you are physically active during the day, you can sleep better in the evening. This is common knowledge. Endurance sports, such as jogging or cycling, have the greatest effect on your sleep quality. Training is best in the morning hours because the longer the interval between training and bedtime, the better the sleep. At the same time, you benefit from the fact that your body is physically most efficient in the morning. In addition, outdoor sports have the advantage that the daylight is your day-night rhythm regulated.
The sleep hormone Melatonin controls your day-night rhythm
You should avoid exercising in the hours before you go to bed. Physical activity stimulates the metabolism, the cortisol level increases and the release of melatonin decreases. However, healthy sleep is not possible without the sleep hormone.
Humans are creatures of habits. So it is not surprising that regular bedtimes are one of the most important factors for healthy sleep and should therefore not be missing when optimizing sleep. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. You should also try to stick to these times on weekends. Deviations from this should not be more than an hour. This allows the body to optimally prepare for sleep, making it easier to fall asleep. It also improves the quality of sleep. Regular evening rituals can further support this.
When implementing it, it is particularly important that you get up at regular times. If your rhythm is disrupted and you force yourself to go to bed early, then you'll likely lie awake late, which isn't sensible. Instead, only go to bed when you're really tired.