For good sleep habits and to avoid suffering from sleep disorders, we must help our brain! The brain sends the information and hormones necessary to promote good sleep or, on the contrary, to make us suffer from insomnia.
Here are some simple and easy-to-adopt tips to help you get a good night's sleep and recovery.
Regular sleep schedules
Maintain as much regularity as possible in your sleeping hours. Set your wake-up time first and go to bed at night when you feel the need to sleep. Bedtimes will eventually become more regular, even if it's very late at night. Regular exposure to light melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep, shuns light. Your biological clock responds very strongly to light exposure. Maintain as much regularity as possible in your hours of exposure to light and darkness. Get as much sunlight as possible during the day. Sleep in the dark and stay in the dim light at night if you get out of bed. An hour before bedtime, turn on indirect lights rather than overhead lights.
Computer screens, smartphones and tablets give off a very bright light, and scientific studies have shown that this light exposure is enough to slow down the arrival of melatonin, the hormone that should put you to sleep. So, avoid checking your email or Facebook just before bed. If you wake up in the middle of the night, same advice ;-)
Don't stay in bed
When you can't fall asleep or get back to sleep, don't stay in bed for long: leave your room if you wake up at night and have trouble falling back to sleep. Relax in the dim light of another room until you feel the need to go back to sleep. Avoid stimulating activities (housework, work, email, Internet) in the middle of the night.
Avoid stimulants during the day
Avoid excessive use of stimulants during the day. Go easy on coffee, energy drinks, chocolate, soft drinks, and other stimulants. At least 5 hours before going to bed, you should avoid these substances and beverages.
The atmosphere in your bedroom should be conducive to sleep
Your bedroom should induce sleep and promote sleep quality. It should be quiet: add soundproof curtains, if necessary. A quiet space reduces the number of micro-awakenings.
It must be very dark: melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep, shuns light. This means that if the room is too bright, it decreases the production of melatonin and therefore decreases the quality and quantity of your sleep.
It must be tempered. Sleep occurs when the body temperature drops slightly. Being too hot will slow the process of falling asleep and encourage many micro-awakenings during the night. Being too cold is not good either. You have to find the right temperature depending on whether you are cold or not, but it is better to have more blankets in a cool atmosphere than in an overheated room with few blankets.
It must be well ventilated. For good brain oxygenation during the night, the room must be well ventilated regularly.
Healthy eating habits
Generally speaking, what we eat directly influences the quality of our sleep. Food that is too acidic can cause gastric reflux (inducing burning of the esophagus when lying down).
Meals that are too heavy will prevent sleep from coming: once lying down and ready for sleep, the digestive process, controlled by the biological clock, slows down. A sluggish digestive system with a full stomach is a bad combination! Result: bloating, cramps etc...