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Amsterdam Amstel
13-09-2016 / 11:00

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sleep well

if you have trouble sleeping

Sleeping badly has an effect on the quality of our life. You perform badly, feel unsure of yourself, are hungry, have less energy and don’t exercise as much. All these things result in you sleeping even worse. Why can’t you sleep well and how can you help yourself to sleep better?

An overactive head
Too much brain activity results in an overactive mind which can in turn lead to sleeping badly. It is important to avoid cognitive impulses before going to sleep. Don’t watch television after 21:00 and avoid the use of computers, smartphones and telephones.  Avoid coffee, cigarettes and alcohol. Write down ‘things to do’ and worries so you can deal with them the next day. A lovely evening walk or a warm bath can help you fall asleep.

Peaceful surroundings
Turn your bedroom into a ‘sleep temple’. Ensure that the room is completely dark, cool and quiet. Maybe burn a candle. By dim light, your brain sends a message to the body to activate the sleeping hormone melatonin. Do you have a partner who snores? Use earplugs and ask him/her to lie on their side.

Sleep rhythm
You can’t catch up on sleep. To get a good night’s sleep it is important that you keep the same sleeping hours. Don’t stay in bed too long in the weekend. If you are really tired it is better to have an afternoon nap of about 20 minutes instead of sleeping in.

Healthy lifestyle
A healthy and active lifestyle helps you to sleep better. Make sure you get enough exercise every day and try to train every second day. Going to bed too hungry or too full are both not beneficial for a good nights sleep. Don’t eat unhealthy snacks before going to bed. This increases your blood pressure and heart rate. Are you hungry? Eat a handful of unroasted, unsalted nuts, vegetables or some plantbased yoghurt. Calcium has a calming effect on the nervous system. 

Body scan and meditation
Still can’t sleep? What can really help is a body scan or meditating. Internet has plenty of examples to offer and there are plenty of good apps that can help you with meditating, such as Insight timer and Headspace. Yoga nidra can also be very effective.

When going through menopause many women can have problems sleeping. Night sweats can keep women awake all night. A well ventilated mattress and regularly changing the sheets can help against night sweats.