No stimulating, caffeinated drinks such as cola, coffee or black tea (at least 6 hours before bedtime)Avoid alcohol to avoid disrupting your sleep schedule and your dreamsWhile raw food is healthy, it is often not well tolerated and digested, which in turn can disrupt sleepWith a soft, colored and pulsating light projection on the ceiling of the bedroom, you can create a calming atmosphere that positively influences the breathing rhythm and reduces brain activity. This leads to a pleasant relaxation, you come to rest and can fall asleep better. Depending on the individual setting, the light pulsates in a different rhythm.This sleeping aid is not only suitable for parents, but also for babies and children. The respiratory rate, heartbeat and metabolism calm down and slow down, circling thoughts focus on the mostly blue beam of light and dissolve.
A good, restful sleep is just as important for our health as sufficient exercise, healthy eating and drinking. Unfortunately, especially in stressful, restless times, a relaxed sleep and a good night's sleep often fall by the wayside. In this article we will show you which sleeping aids can help you get a better night's sleep.
Sleep disorders: women and shift workers are particularly affected
Sleep disorders are widespread in Germany and are among the most common health complaints. According to estimates by the German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine (DGSM), around 25 percent of adults suffer from sleep disorders, 40 percent of shift workers and around 10 percent of those affected do not experience sleep as restful in the long term. Women are affected about twice as often as men.
Falling asleep is often difficult and a particular challenge because our lively mind just can't find peace and we toss and turn in bed for hours.
The next day we feel exhausted, unfocused and underperforming. Long-term sleep deprivation has a negative impact on our physical and mental health. The quality of life and everyday life are severely affected.
Fall asleep quickly and relax with various sleep aids
But what can you do yourself against the problems falling asleep, so that the day-night rhythm gets back on track and how can you stand up to sleepless nights?
Ensuring good sleep hygiene is an important basis for a balanced, relaxed sleep. However, there are also resources from nature and alternative medicine available to you so that you can fall asleep better and faster. Also try special sleep aids such as apps or other devices that help you fall asleep.
With the following tips and tricks you can get sleep problems under control and avoid sleeping pills with annoying side effects:
Ensure healthy sleep hygiene and a restful night
After a stressful, exhausting day, it is often not easy to calm down in the evening and switch off brooding thoughts. For a healthy sleep you can create certain conditions in the bedroom so that you can fall asleep quickly.
A good sleep routine is extremely important to face the challenges of the next day. The following 8 tips support a balanced sleep-wake cycle and ensure healthy sleep:
The bedroom is for sleeping
You can condition your mind and body to not do anything in bed other than sleep. In the case of sleep disorders in particular, it is better to avoid distractions such as television and reading, no matter how exciting you find the activities at the moment. If your sleep improves, you can always pick up old habits and see if they affect your sleep again.
What temperature is ideal for falling asleep?
The optimal sleeping temperature is between 16° Celsius and 18° Celsius in the bedroom. You simply sleep better with temperatures below 20 ° Celsius. Ideally, you leave the windows open in summer, because then the room has enough fresh air. In winter, regular airing before going to bed is important. In short: the bedroom should be cool, dark and quiet.
Quiet in the bedroom: switch off background noise or use earplugs
Noise from outside or other noises at night, such as your partner snoring, prevent you from falling asleep and lead to poor sleep, especially if you are already a very light sleeper. If you cannot switch off the background noise yourself, earplugs made of cotton wool, foam or silicone could be the solution for a restful sleep.
The right mattress for the bed and the back
Choosing the right mattress, duvet and pillow, and having a comfortable bed play an important role in helping you sleep better. After all, we spend a lot of time in bed. Take your time to choose the mattress and try out different mattresses (test beds). It should be neither too hard nor too soft.
An important selection criterion is, for example, a breathable mattress, because everyone loses up to two liters of fluid at night. With the right mattress, you can also do something good for your back and prevent back pain.
Adhere to regular daytime and sleeping times
For good sleep hygiene, it is best to get used to a regular daily routine. Always get up at the same time and go to bed at the same time, even on weekends. Set the alarm so that you sleep six to seven hours. Absolutely do without an afternoon nap and only go to bed when you're really tired, because you can't force a good night's rest.
Ban electrosmog and blue light from the bedroom
A sensible sleep hygiene also includes stopping the overstimulation in the bedroom. Get out of the bedroom with all electrical devices such as televisions, computers and smartphones.
Exciting activities, exciting films, computer games increase your pulse and have a counterproductive effect before you fall asleep. The blue light from the devices also inhibits the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. So it's no wonder that falling asleep doesn't work.
Enjoy evening rituals and look back
If you absolutely can't get any rest in the evening and just can't fall asleep, regular rituals before going to bed could bring you down. Just try some things that are good for you. This could be a warm bath in the evening, light yoga exercises in bed, or a calming cup of tea.
If you're constantly thinking about certain things or if you can't get annoying to-dos for the next day out of your head, you can possibly stop the flow of thoughts by reviewing everything and writing down your thoughts. Then you won't forget anything the next day either.
Correct breathing against stress and for more relaxation
Breathing exercises are part of the meditation. With a few conscious breaths, you can calm your body and mind and drift off to sleep more relaxed.
A very simple breathing exercise that interrupts the flow of thoughts, calms the circulation and promotes sleep:
- Take a deep breath and slowly count to 4
- Hold your breath and count to 4 again
- Exhale slowly and count to 8
- Hold your breath and count to 4
Repeat the breathing exercise in the evening or at night until you are completely relaxed and can sleep better.
What can you do if your child cannot fall asleep?
- Read the child a bedtime story
- Provide a night light for reassurance if your child is afraid of the dark
Help from nature: The 5 best herbal remedies to help you fall asleep
If possible, avoid taking fast-acting sleeping pills that are at risk of becoming addictive and that also suppress the important REM phase (dream phase).
Instead, try herbal remedies as a sleep aid, those that have a sleep-inducing effect and are wonderful to take in the form of tea or use as a bath additive. Regularly drinking a cup of tea or taking a soaking bath is itself calming before bedtime and makes a great bedtime ritual.
Tablets, capsules, powder or tea
There are numerous medicinal plant preparations in pharmacies. Whether in the form of tablets, capsules, dragees, ready-made tea mixtures, tinctures, drops or fresh herbs.
Longer intake of herbal remedies, but without side effects
Herbal remedies in the form of tea or preparations from the pharmacy need some time before they are fully effective. Although they have to be taken or drunk regularly over a long period of time, they do not have any side effects like chemical sleeping pills. However, if you are allergic to a plant, it is better to choose an alternative to help you fall asleep.
This is how tea preparation with medicinal plants works
You take a certain amount of dried or fresh herb from the relevant medicinal plant and pour 150 ml of boiling water over it. Then you leave the infusion for 10 minutes and then strain the herb.
Calming and Sleeping Tea Blends:
You can also prepare ready-made sleeping tea blends from the pharmacy. The following medicinal plants are usually combined in the tea blends: valerian root, hop cones, lemon balm leaves, lavender blossoms, St. John's wort and passion flower herb.
This is how you make a bath additive for a full bath with medicinal plants
For a soothing full bath, take 100 grams of dried or fresh herbs from the medicinal plant, pour 2 liters of hot water over them and let the infusion steep for 10 minutes. After straining, add the bath additive to the bath water. The water temperature should be 34° to 36° Celsius and the bathing time should not exceed 20 minutes.
Sleeping aid Valerian - for calm, relaxed nerves
Instead of sleeping pills, it is better to use the medicinal plant valerian and prepare a relaxing tea or a warm bath from the root. The calming and sleep-promoting effect has been confirmed in many scientific and clinical studies. If you have trouble sleeping, you should drink a cup of valerian tea or enjoy a soothing bath every evening before you go to sleep:
Valerian tea: 1 teaspoon of loose valerian root, 150 ml of boiling water
Sleep Aid Lavender - calming and relaxing scent
Who does not know the fragrant scent of lavender! But not only the scent is beguiling, also in the form of tea preparations, as a lavender bath or scented pillows, the active ingredients of the lavender blossoms help to fall asleep and with restlessness. If you can't fall asleep, drink a cup of lavender blossom tea before going to bed, take a full bath or make your own scented sachet.
- Lavender tea: 1 teaspoon of lavender flowers, 150 ml of boiling water
- Lavender Scent Pillow: Simply drip a few drops of lavender essential oil onto the pillow
Sleeping aid St. John's wort - balm for the soul
St. John's wort is known as a herbal antidepressant due to its calming, mood-enhancing effect. However, the ingredients also ensure that the sleep hormone melatonin is increasingly released and therefore the herb also has a sleep-inducing effect. If you have trouble falling asleep, it is best to drink a cup of tea three times a day.
St. John's wort tea: Either 30 grams of dried herb or 75 grams of fresh herb, 150 ml of boiling water
Sleeping aid Hop blossoms or hop cones - for a relaxed sleep
A freshly prepared tea made from hop cones or a relaxing bath with hop blossoms also have a calming effect. Hops help with insomnia caused by restlessness and tension. That's why you can also enjoy a cup of tea or a full bath to fall asleep.
Hop Cone Tea: 3 to 4 teaspoons hop cones, 150 ml boiling water
Sleeping aid Lemon balm - drives away restlessness and problems falling asleep
Lemon balm is also considered a good sleep aid in cases of tension, restlessness and problems falling asleep caused by nervousness. A lemon balm leaf tea is popular, which you can prepare quickly and easily and drink in the evening before going to bed.
Lemon balm leaf tea: 5 teaspoons lemon balm leaves, 150 ml boiling water
3 important homeopathic remedies as sleep aids
Homeopathic remedies can not only be taken by adults for sleep disorders, homeopathic remedies can also be used in babies and children to help them fall asleep, because homeopathic medicines do not cause any side effects.
Tip: D12 potencies are suitable for self-treatment. It is best for you or your child to take 5 globules three times a day.
Coffea (coffee) D12 – Homeopathic coffee for restlessness, excitement and insomnia
The homeopathic remedy Coffea can not only be taken by adults, Coffea can also be used in babies and children to help them fall asleep. Coffea is one of the most important sleeping pills in homeopathy and is used when circling thoughts or a lot of excitement during the day just don't let you relax. If the symptoms improve with rest, warmth and lying down, try homeopathic coffee.
Arnika (Bergwohl rental) D12 – Sleepless despite being overtired
You toss and turn all the time, just can't get any rest. You've probably exercised before or otherwise overexerted yourself physically and the muscle pain is now preventing you from falling asleep. If you have these symptoms, you should take the homeopathic remedy arnica. Typically, the symptoms improve when lying down and at rest.
Nux vomica (Night nut) D12 - Sleep disorders due to unhealthy lifestyle
The homeopathic nutmeg is used in particular for overworked people with sedentary work and an unhealthy lifestyle. Are you also generally more of a hectic, nervous and irritable type, like to push yourself with coffee and relax in the evening with a glass of wine or other alcohol? No wonder you lie awake at night and can't sleep. Nux vomica could then be the right remedy for you.
Sound, light, apps and co.: Devices and other aids to help you fall asleep
Gentle sounds: drift off to sleep with the right sound system
A sound system as a sleep aid? Sounds counterproductive at first, but gentle sounds from nature, e.g. the sound of the sea, raindrops or white noise ensure a calming, relaxing effect and naturally help you to fall asleep. So-called white noise is popular, and it also helps noise-sensitive people to fall asleep and sleep through the night.
Sleeping aid with light: fall asleep quickly and relaxed?
With a soft, colored and pulsating light projection on the ceiling of the bedroom, you can create a calming atmosphere that positively influences the breathing rhythm and reduces brain activity. This leads to a pleasant relaxation, you come to rest and can fall asleep better. Depending on the individual setting, the light pulsates in a different rhythm.
This sleeping aid is not only suitable for parents, but also for babies and children. The respiratory rate, heartbeat and metabolism calm down and slow down, circling thoughts focus on the mostly blue beam of light and dissolve.
Which apps help you fall asleep?
Basically, for good sleep hygiene, no electronic devices such as televisions, smartphones or computers belong in the bedroom. If you toss and turn in bed for hours at night anyway, you can also try one of the numerous apps that help you get the rest you need to fall asleep. Most apps have soft sounds, meditative voices, or paint programs. You can find the apps in your app store.
Tip: The following 4 apps are high on the popularity scale of sleep aids:
- "White Noise": White noise as a monotonous background noise, e.g. sea or wind noise, raindrops and much more.
- "Deep Sleep" - the meditation app: Specialist Andrew Johnsen gives instructions on breathing exercises and muscle relaxation in his monotonous, deep voice
- "Relax Melodies": Monotonous noises in combination with meditation
- "Color Therapy": With the coloring book app for more relaxation. 100 nature motifs, geometric patterns and mandalas to color in and relax
Earplugs for a quiet, good night
Traffic noise and other noises are a killer for a good night's sleep. At night we need quiet to sleep. If we can't switch off the cause of the noise, the only option is to quickly reach for earplugs to reduce the noise level and fall asleep quickly.
Sleep masks against early awakening or waking up at night
Bright light disturbs our sleep. You can't fall asleep well and the amount of time you sleep is shortened by brightness, because our activating happiness hormone releases more serotonin, which in turn suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin.
In short: while we sleep, darkness should reign in the bedroom, just like at night. This can be achieved with dark curtains in front of the windows or with a sleep mask or sleep goggles.
Fragrance Lamps: Aromatherapy with essential oils for the senses as a sleep aid
If the day-night rhythm has gotten out of joint, 3 to 5 drops of relaxing lavender, lemon balm and sandalwood oil in the evening, which are heated in an aroma lamp and provide a pleasant scent in the room, may help. Aromatherapy with soothing essential oils will make you feel tired and sleepy.
Fall asleep better with relaxation techniques: meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training
Permanent stress in everyday life and at work, circling and brooding thoughts - in the evening, before going to bed, you are not tired, but your body and mind are wide awake. So that you can sleep better again, learn a relaxation technique with a calming effect that will slowly prepare your body and mind for a good night's sleep. Relaxation techniques are very effective sleep aids that optimally prepare your body for the nocturnal regeneration phase.
Which relaxation technique is right for you?
Find a relaxation technique that works well for you. If you are one of the more physically active people, could progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobsen or yoga be something for you? However, you may prefer methods such as meditation or autogenic training
Relaxation techniques: Easy to learn and can be integrated into everyday life
The advantage of such relaxation techniques is that they can be easily integrated into everyday life and practiced at home. Usually you only need a gymnastics or yoga mat. Many health insurance companies or adult education centers offer intensive courses for learning. Practice and regular practice is then in your own four walls.
Exercise, nutrition and home remedies: What else should you pay attention to in everyday life so that you can sleep better?
If you pay attention to good sleep hygiene, you have already created important prerequisites for better sleep. But there are still a few tips and tricks for everyday life that have a positive effect on your sleep:
Warm milk with honey – the classic sleeping aid
The famous classic among home remedies that probably every child grew up with: warm milk with honey. Even if the sleep-promoting effect has not yet been proven in studies, many people who have trouble falling asleep swear by the home remedy.
Although milk contains important sleep-promoting ingredients such as melatonin, the amount is so small that you cannot fall asleep quickly with it. The popular home remedy is still suitable as a routine measure and has a corresponding psychological effect.
Make sure your feet, showers and baths are warm
Fall asleep with cold feet? Probably a difficult task. The same applies to cold showers, which should also be taboo before going to bed, because cold water stimulates the circulation and is a real pick-me-up.
Therefore, make sure that your feet and your body are comfortably warm, then you can fall asleep better. If you feel chilly, a warm shower or a warm full bath before going to sleep will do you good.
Kneipp: Rising foot baths to help you fall asleep
Do you generally tend to have cold feet, which often prevent you from falling asleep? As early as the middle of the 19th century, the pastor Sebastian Kneipp recommended that people who had trouble falling asleep take an ascending footbath before going to bed, because it has a beneficial effect on body, mind and soul.
The slow and increasing application of heat then perfuses the vessels in the feet and legs, ensuring pleasant warmth throughout the body.
This is how an ascending foot bath works:
- Fill the shower tray with water that is around 34° Celsius
- Dip feet into water, slowly add hot water over 20 minutes until the temperature rises to 40℃
- Finally, give your feet a cold shower, dry them off and put on warm wool socks
Physical activity - but not just before bedtime
Regular sporting activities or light exercise units such as daily walks have a positive effect on body and soul. This in turn leads to a healthy, restful sleep. But it's better to make sure that you don't put on your sports shoes and get started right before you go to bed, because then your circulation is activated and it takes a certain amount of time to come down again. At a later hour, more relaxing exercises are therefore announced.
Tip: Exercise is extremely important for our health. If you have trouble falling asleep, make sure that you do your sporting activities two to three hours before bedtime!
The famous sheep are counting
Counting sheep is probably in the same league as hot milk with honey, since counting sheep is one of the best-known sleeping aids. The monotonous counting of the fluffy woolly sheep distracts you from everyday problems and brooding that prevents you from falling asleep.
If you're not a fan of sheep, just imagine other calming animals or objects. The main thing is that they are low-irritant and have a soporific effect.
What to do when you just can't fall asleep?
If nothing works, you just can't get any rest and absolutely can't fall asleep, then just get up again. But the light should remain dimmed, because you want to get tired again. Prepare yourself a warm calming tea or pursue another quiet activity. When you finally get tired, you go straight back to bed.
Eating and drinking consciously: Which foods develop a sleep-promoting effect?
A full stomach interferes with falling asleep and sleeping, so you should eat your last meal at least two hours before bedtime. Food and drink affect our sleep.
Alcohol is also a fallacy, because the intoxicating drug ensures that you fall asleep quickly, but overall alcohol disrupts deep sleep and the REM phase (dream phase), so that alcohol consumption disrupts the overall sleep-wake cycle.
You should pay attention to this:
- Prefer light food, because heavy meals cause indigestion and disrupt sleep
- Look for sleep-inducing, healthy foods such as bananas, eggs, leafy greens, chickpeas, nuts, cherries, oatmeal, dates and figs, grapes
- Steamed (warm) fruits and vegetables support digestion and lead to better sleep
You should avoid:
- No stimulating, caffeinated drinks such as cola, coffee or black tea (at least 6 hours before bedtime)
- Avoid alcohol to avoid disrupting your sleep schedule and your dreams
- While raw food is healthy, it is often not well tolerated and digested, which in turn can disrupt sleep