Sufficient and restful sleep is one of the most important foundations for a healthy life. Insomnia, frequent waking up and lying awake prevent nightly rest, harm our daily well-being and our health. Here you can find out what you can do to prevent waking up in the night and which simple tips you can use to fall asleep and sleep through the night.
Table of Contents
- Insomnia - a widespread phenomenon
- Common reasons for insomnia
- The best tips against insomnia at night
Insomnia - a widespread phenomenon
More than 80% of employed people in Germany sleep poorly and one in ten suffers from serious sleep disorders. Having trouble falling asleep, waking up repeatedly and lying awake for long periods of time not only harms our daily form, performance and psyche, but can also lead to serious health problems such as an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and depression. If we toss and turn at night and simply can't fall asleep, the important regeneration doesn't take place and we suffer more from tiredness, exhaustion or concentration difficulties the next day.
Every night we go through several sleep cycles, which in turn are made up of a fixed sequence of sleep phases . Frequent waking phases and sleep interruptions disrupt this process and prevent a healthy sleep structure, which reduces the proportion of deep sleep and the recovery processes in the body and brain cannot run optimally. Because we usually go to bed at a certain time and have to get up in the morning, the nightly sleep duration is reduced and a chronic sleep deficiencyl can develop.
Common reasons for insomnia
An irregular sleep pattern, bad sleeping habits or the wrong diet - insomnia can result from numerous reasons. You can find more about possible reasons why we wake up at night and simply can't get back to sleep at this point in our sleep magazine.
Basically, it is of course important to create the best possible conditions for undisturbed sleep with good sleep hygiene, a healthy diet and the right evening routines before going to bed. But what can we do if we lie awake at night and just can't get back to sleep?
The best tips against insomnia at night
#1 Avoid light and brightness
Bright light signals the body to reduce production of the sleep hormone melatonin and prepare to wake up. In order not to wake up early at night, it is therefore advisable to keep the bedroom generally dark and to avoid disturbing light sources, for example through thick curtains or roller shutters.
If you woke up at night, you should definitely avoid bright lighting or screen light, for example by using your smartphone. In this way you remain in "sleep mode" as your body registers the prolonged darkness and it is easier for you to calm down and fall asleep.
#2 Keeping calm, avoiding stress and promoting relaxation
Chronic stress, mental stress or worries and fears often cause us to think a lot and find it difficult to relax even before we go to sleep.An increased cortisol level caused by stress inhibits melatonin production in the evening, which means that a deep sleep is prevented, we wake up more often and, above all, it is not so easy to find our way back to sleep
If you wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling asleep again, you should under no circumstances put additional pressure on yourself, as this also promotes the release of cortisol. The best thing to do is not to get angry, but to remain calm and accept the situation for the time being. Try to find a comfortable lying position and relax completely and come to rest again. Breathing exercises, soothing music, a short meditation or certain scents and aromatic substances, for example essential oils in candles or pillow sprays, can help here. Check out this article for more sleep tips.
Caution: Avoid looking at the clock when you wake up. This only leads to additional stress and brings more worries, for example because we lie awake too long or only have a few hours before we have to get up.
#3 Stop mind carousel
Our melatonin levels are highest at night. The versatile hormone promotes our sleep on the one hand, but can have a negative effect on our mood when we are awake. So you'd better not start thinking about problems or worries during this time.
In order not to let the famous merry-go-round of thoughts get going in the first place, it can help to end the day mentally before going to bed and write down all thoughts and feelings in a diary or a short note. You can also jot down upcoming tasks and to-dos for the next day to capture everything important and organize your memory. This will allow you to spend the night with a clear head and less strain and tension in your brain when you wake up at night.
#4 Distract & stand up briefly
If falling asleep still doesn't work after a long time, it's sometimes better not to toss and turn in bed pointlessly, but rather to get up for a moment. With the light dimmed, you can then pursue an activity that is as quiet and monotonous as possible. In this way you prevent your body from being activated too much and, on the contrary, the constant activity at best ensures that you tire again after a while and can fall asleep. For example, you can read a book, fold laundry or use the time to implement our third tip.
More tips for better sleep
Sleeping really well over the long term is not that easy, because our sleep is influenced by numerous different factors and is a very sensitive stage despite or precisely because of its importance for our health. With good sleep hygiene, a regulated sleep-wake rhythm, the right diet and one or the other trick to promote relaxation before going to bed, we cannot always prevent insomnia, but we can at least contribute to creating the best conditions for a peaceful sleep.
Insomnia & frequent sleep interruptions prevent restful sleep, can lead to lack of sleep and health problems as well as tiredness, exhaustion or difficulty concentrating during the day.
Avoid bright light sources or screen lights at night as they make it difficult to fall asleep again.
If you lie awake at night, you should stay calm, not let stress arise and e.g. B.promote relaxation through breathing exercises, mediation, music or specific scents
Try to write down thoughts and worries in the evening or while you are awake so you can go back to bed with a clear head to reduce stress & cognitive strain.
Instead of lying awake for hours, you can get up and pursue a quiet activity so that your body becomes tired again, for example from monotonous ironing or reading.
Greetings and see you soon!