Get concrete advice for better sleep here. Did you know that our sleep affects almost every aspect of our lives? From our weight to our relationships and our risk of developing diseases like cancer and depression. There are many reasons to take action if you're sleeping badly! Read on to find out.
Everyone feels better after a good night's sleep. We're happier, have more energy and cope with life a little better. On the other hand, if you're tired in the head, yawn constantly and don't think very fast, your whole day will probably be badly affected. That's why it makes sense to look for
advice for better sleep.
When you don't sleep well, it has consequences for both in the short and long term. Lack of sleep makes you more tired and tired.
If you have trouble sleeping for a long time, start mood consistently deteriorates and your ability to work is reduced. In addition, you will be much more prone to illness both physically and mentally.
In this sleep guide, you'll get a thorough guide to the causes, consequences and, most importantly, what you can do to get better sleep
Table of contents
- 1 😊 Why sleep is essential for your life and health
- 2 What poor sleep means for you
- 2.1 Less sex drive
- 2.2 Stress
- 2.3 More mistakes and wrong decisions
- 2.4 Poor judgement
- 2.5 Swinging mood
- 2.6 Type 2 diabetes
- 2.7 Overweight
- 2.8 Do you always feel tired and unwell?
- 2.9 Poorer memory
- 2.10 High blood pressure and blood clots
- 2.11 Cancer
- 2.12 Depression and anxiety
- 2.13 Chronic musculoskeletal disorders
- 3 👉 Advice for better sleep
- 4 🛏️ Everyone can sleep (!)
- 5 😴 How to get a better sleep
- 5.1 Fresh air and natural light
- 5.2 Dark bedroom
- 5.3 Are you comfortable in bed?
- 5.4 Exercise is healthy
- 5.5 Keep a good rhythm
- 5.6 Appetite and hunger
- 5.7 Stop drinking coffee and black tea
- 5.8 Alcohol is not a sleeping pill...
- 5.9 Drink fluids during the day, and less in the evening
- 5.10 SOVEværelse
- 5.11 Keep the bedroom cold - but not too cold
- 5.12 Restrain sleep during the day - especially after 4pm
- 5.13 Have a dream block
- 5.15 Take off or put on clothes
- 5.16 No work an hour before bedtime
😊 Why sleep is essential for your life and health
When you sleep, your body goes into a kind of hibernation. It heals itself, and it all happens completely naturally and free of charge for you. Sleep has no side effects and there's nothing really bad to say about sleep!
Read on for lots of advice on how to sleep better.
We spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping
Few people realise that we actually spend about 1/3 of our lives in dreamland. Even if you sleep every day, you may not be proven about the great importance that sleep actually has for us.
Sleep has these good effects for you and your body
- Keeps your spirits up. When you have slept well it is easier to stay positive and not let your temper control you
- Strengthens your immune system and makes you more resistant to bacteria and viruses
- Your body rebuilds and heals itself. Damage and wear to the body is restored, and this applies to both the brain and muscles
- Regulates your appetite. When you are sleepy you are less likely to comfort eat, or forget meals if you tend to
- Improves memory and concentration. Sleep helps improve information storage in the brain
- Keeps your blood vessels healthy and fresh
- You perform better for sports or general exercise the day after a good night's sleep.
What poor sleep means for you
If you sleep badly, you may already be aware of some of the problems it causes. Lack of energy for everyday things like going for a walk, playing with the kids or facing work tasks with courage are the most common annoyances.
But there are a wide range of problems that you will eventually experience as a result of poor sleep. Here we look at what not sleeping enough or sleeping badly can actually mean for you.
Seeking advice for better sleep will increase your chances of sleeping better.
6 hours is not enough: The journal Revue Neurologique published research in 2003 showing that just 6 days of 4 hours sleep each night reversed the hormone profile. The hormone profile was very similar to that of older people and people suffering from depression (Source: Science.dk)
Less sex drive
Whether you're a man or a woman, your sex drive drops if you're tired and unwell. Lack of sleep simply drains your energy and desire.
At night is reduced the amount of stress hormones. So if you don't get enough sleep, or good sleep, the amount of these increase, which can have a big impact on your stress levels.
Stress can cause a wide range of unpleasant side effects such as high blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness and general malaise. If you are stressed, you will even harder to let go and fall asleep. You can therefore quickly end up in a really bad spiral.
If you feel stressed, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to stop the downward spiral.
More mistakes and wrong decisions
Lack of energy for your daily tasks, and a greater tendency to make wrong decisions. That's what lack of sleep causes you in the long run, which can have big consequences both on your job and in your personal life.
Various studies have shown, among other things, that surgeons who have not slept properly make about 15% more errors than those who are healthy. This can have fatal consequences that even a strong cup of coffee cannot prevent.
Decisions become more confusing when you have not had enough sleep for a long time. You may start to make big decisions on the basis of the stronger everyday decisions can have big consequences.
This is especially true when you are in traffic. It can quickly become dangerous if you are not rested and clear-headed.
If you have severe mood swings, it may be a sign that you are not getting the sleep you need. Mood swings can be unpleasant for you and those around you. If you are not feeling well you're more likely to get irritable and snarl or bite people.
You may also become more tense and anxious more quickly.
Type 2 diabetes
One of the more serious long-term effects of poor sleep is the disease diabetes 2. A disease, of which there have unfortunately been many more cases in recent years. It is well documented that those who sleep too little are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
This disease is a lifestyle disease, which means that it can be regulated through lifestyle and diet. The good news is therefore that you can reduce your symptoms of the disease, if you start sleeping better.
If you find it hard to get more than 7 hours of sleep during the week, studies have shown that it's possible to make up for it at weekends by sleeping longer. Either by going to bed earlier, or sleeping longer in the morning.
So at the very least, make sure you get enough sleep at the weekend if you want to avoid type 2 diabetes or improve your symptoms. (Source: Osmeddiabetes.co.uk)
Can lack of sleep make you fat? Yes, actually!
If you sleep more than 7.7 hours, you are guaranteed to be slimmer than those who sleep less!
American researchers have found in a study that people who sleep an average of 7.7 hours a day are generally slimmer than those who sleep less.
As mentioned earlier, too little sleep leads to an increase in stress hormone, which in addition to giving us more stress, also regulates our appetite.
When we sleep, the body reduces the amount of stress hormone. So when you don't sleep enough, you end up with a higher amount of the stress hormone in your blood.
This makes us want to eat fast carbohydrates like sweets and cakes, so it's hard not to eat too many calories.
In addition, sleep also helps to increase the burning of sugar and fat in the body. If these things are not burnt, it shows up as extra kilos on your side. (Source: Science.dk)
Do you always feel tired and unwell?
Then it is perhaps because you have not received enough sleep. Being chronically tired and unwell doesn't just affect you, it quickly affects your family and perhaps colleagues.
It also becomes more difficult to find the time and energy for exercise and a healthy diet, so it all quickly ends in a vicious circle.
Sleep is undoubtedly essential for our memory and ability to concentrate.
When we sleep, the brain to store and process the day's information. If you don't get 7-9 hours sleep each night, your brain and body don't have enough time for this. Sleep helps your body to retain the important memories of the day by embedding them in the brain. At they can retrieve them much more easily.
Poor sleep will therefore cause your memory to simply deteriorate.
High blood pressure and blood clots
Did you know that a Norwegian study has shown that there is a whole 45% greater risk of having a heart attack, if you don't get enough sleep every night?
It is a frightening and life-threatening risk that we have to deal with. A bad night's sleep can be fatal in the long term.
A good night's sleep is an important part of preventing both high blood pressure and blood clots. Fortunately, there are plenty of other things you can do. That's why it's a good idea to pop to the doctor if you're having serious problems.
Cancer, as we know, is a of the diseases we struggle with most in our time. It is a disease that can insidious if left untreated.
If we are tired and in sleep deprived, the immune system has a harder time fighting the early stages of cancer. This, in turn, means that the tumour can grow bigger more easily.
Studies in mice have shown that cancerous tumours grow faster and become more aggressive in stressed, sleep-deprived mice in compared to rested mice.
Depression and anxiety
The less you sleep, the greater your risk of developing depression.
This is the finding of a Norwegian survey of young people between 16 and 18 years. The researchers found that the group of young people who slept less than 6 hours a a day had as much as 8 times the risk for developing depression.
But if you've already got depression, it can be hard to get the right sleep, and you may end up sleeping too much or suffering from insomnia. In fact, researchers also found that those who suffered from depression were 3-4 times more likely to suffer from insomnia. Source: Springer.com
Chronic musculoskeletal disorders
Have you heard of the disease fibromylagia? Probably not most people know about this disorder. It causes chronic pain in joints and muscles, and can be extremely painful.
A Norwegian study showed a link between women who have had sleep problems over the past 10 years. Other lifestyle factors such as smoking, physical activity and obesity also had an impact, but nowhere near as much as sleep. So sleep is important in preventing pain in muscles and joints.
Other experiments have shown that people who are prevented from sleeping quite quickly have a significantly lower pain threshold, and some suggest that a state of inflammation is created in the body. If the inflammation is in the body for a long time, then it may be the cause of developing the chronic pain disorder fibromyalgia.
👉 Advice for better sleep
Do you find it a bit anxiety provoking that sleeping badly can be so harmful? Don't worry - luckily you can significantly improve your own risks if you start focusing on your sleep and improving it.
In fact, in many cases, it doesn't take much to break the vicious cycle and start sleeping better. But it's going to take effort and sustained focus on this issue. Below you'll find more tips for better sleep.
In the following you will find advice and guide on how to learn to sleep well. So read on if you want to wake up rested every morning and reduce your risk of unpleasant things like cancer, blood clots, poor memory, stress and more.
🛏️ Everyone can sleep (!)
The good news is that all humans naturally have a normal sleep pattern. Sleeping is a basic physiological thing, and as living beings we have been doing it for millennia.
The vast majority of sleep problems are actually mental. Things like grief, stress or a personal crisis. However, many also suffer from pain that can wake you up or keep you awake for hours.
Whatever your sleep problem, there is help. Start by changing your routine. When you need to change your habits, it's important to stick to the good and routine - even on hard days. In the same way that a smoker needs to stop smoking, it's not good if there are days when you skip and fall back into the old routine.
Below you'll find all the best advice for better sleep. Don't worry - everyone can learn to sleep well.
😴 How to get a better sleep
Read on for the best advice on getting a good night's sleep that will keep you healthy and fit for life.
Fresh air and natural light
By nature, light is the most effective way to regulate our sleep, and our circadian rhythms in general. You can influence this by getting plenty of sun and fresh air during the day. You don't have to find an hour for a long walk in the woods every day - even small things make a difference.
Implement the light of day into your everyday life, making it easy and manageable.
- Take a walk during your lunch break if you work indoors. Just 10 minutes makes a difference.
- Consider buying a light therapy and use it in the morning in winter. It tells your body when it's morning, when the sun isn't out to do the same.
- Get off the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
For the same reason you should daylight during the day, you should keep the bedroom dark when you sleep. This is especially important in the summer months, when it's already light at 4am, which for most people is a few hours too early to to get up.
Get a pair of blackout curtains that really block out the light.
Are you comfortable in bed?
Isn't a new bed just what you need in your budget? You're far from alone. Unfortunately, many people are bad at prioritising their bed, even though it's somewhere where it really makes sense to invest.
If your bed is worn out, you may experience pain in your neck, shoulders and back. It can also cause you to toss and turn many times during the night, disturbing both you and your partner.
A good bed with new springs, such as pocket springs, will take maximum strain off your body. The top mattress is also important, as it has a major impact on how your body weight is distributed.
A good bed can last about 10 years, but many models wear out before that. So give your bed a thorough check and find out how you really lie in it.
Exercise is healthy
Yes, we know. But it's worth mentioning anyway - exercise is super important for your sleep, your health and your well-being in general. It's especially important if you have a sedentary job.
If you do not exercise already, it will almost certainly improve your sleep when you start. So your body is physically tired when you go to bed. As a bonus, you'll also burn stress hormones when you exercise. So exercise also leads to less stress.
However, you should not do any strenuous exercise in the last 2-3 hours before you go to bed. The body needs this time to adjust to the rest phase.
Keep a good rhythm
Go to bed and get up at about the same time, whether it's weekday or weekend. A good rhythm is healthy for your body. However, you should make sure you have 7-9 hours each night to sleep in.
Appetite and hunger
You should not be hungry, when you go to bed, but also avoid large meals before bedtime. Pay particular attention to with sugar and fruit late at night, as it will make it difficult to fall asleep,
If you're hungry before bed, eat a small meal with protein. Protein helps to rebuild your muscles while you sleep.
Stop drinking coffee and black tea
Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, which sharpens our alertness, increases our focus, it makes our thinking faster and clearer, and last but not least, it works to it eliminates symptoms of fatigue and exhaustion.
It takes somewhere between 5 and 7 hours to halve of caffeine in the blood after a cup of coffee. If you have trouble sleeping, it's best to avoid caffeine altogether in the hours before you bedtime.
Remember that a cup of black tea actually contain the same amount as a cup of black coffee!
If you like hot drinks in the evening, you can buy lots of delicious decaffeinated tea or you can try decaffeinated coffee if you love the black drink.
Alcohol is not a sleeping pill...
Although you may feel nice and sleepy after a beer or a glass of red wine, alcohol is unfortunately not a very good sleeping aid. In fact, it makes your sleep worse.
For it may well be that you fall asleep faster, but your brain and body are affected by the alcohol in hours, preventing your body from fully entering the deep REM sleep that we all need.
So put alcohol on the shelf if you're in the habit of having a drink now and again.
Drink fluids during the day, and less in the evening
Are you on the night team?
Fluid intake is super important for our well-being, but having to pee at night interrupts your sleep. That's why it's a good idea to drink most of your fluids in the morning and early afternoon, then cut back a little in the last few hours before you go to sleep.
The room where you sleep is intended for sleep. Not only can clutter and dust be a nuisance to the indoor environment and thus your sleep, but clutter can also mentally harder for you to relax and surrender to sleep.
Optimally, you should not have a TV, smartphone or computer in your bedroom. The bright light tells our brain to wake up and be ready for challenges.
The room should be nice to be in without too many stimuli. And use it only for sleeping or for layer gymnastics once in a while.
Do a little room review, tidy up and clean out - it can do wonders for your sleep. Even something as simple as new, nice bedding can make getting into bed more comfortable.
Keep the bedroom cold - but not too cold
Besides your bedroom should be nice and comfortable for you, it should also not be too hot or too cold. The temperature should be somewhere between 15 degrees and 22 degrees in the bedroom. At which end of this range you prefer depends entirely on your personal preferences.
But in general, space should cool so you don't get too hot when you get under the duvet.
Restrain sleep during the day - especially after 4pm
Do you need sleep on day, it should be before 4pm and you should not sleep more than 30 minutes. Set your alarm clock to make sure you wake up again.
Stick to a so-called power nap to get the most out of your midday nap, if you are one of those who have this option.
Have a dream block
Ideas, thoughts and worries keep many awake at night. Write them down on a pad you have by your bedside table. That way they're out of your system and you don't have to worry of forgetting them.
You can also write down your dreams on it if you dream a lot. Maybe one day you'll write down a brilliant idea?
Take off or put on clothes
Some sleep best in an Adam or Eve costume, while others need to wear long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt. Consider whether you are comfortable in your nightwear and try to change it a little to increase your comfort at night.
No work an hour before bedtime
At a time when we are always have access to email, it can be hard to put it away. But it's a good idea to put it away before bed - at least an hour before, but very preferably more.
Do you have a really hard time this, leave your phone in the living room when you go to bed. Instead, read in a book or magazine before you go to bed.
That way, it's easier to relax and surrender to sleep. Please save this guide to better sleep under your favourites so you can come back and check the page.