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Sleep Environment

Abstract: What can I do to sleep better? Tips to fall asleep and sleep with less hassle.

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Sleep Environment

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Question(s): 
Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 23 Oct 2013.
Latest revision: 24 Oct 2013.

What can get me to sleep easier?

Answer:

Sleep Environments is aimed at health promotion behaviours that may make it easier to fall asleep and to sleep soundly. This includes among other things:

  • Avoid smoking

    Nicotine in cigarettes is a substance that activates the brain and interferes with sleep. Although many smokers have made it a habit of smoking a cigarette late at night (because it's so nicely "soothing"), you should try to refrain from cigarettes in the evening. This is equally true when you wake up at night.

  • Be careful with alcohol

    There is no objection to a glass of beer or wine in the evening. But to abuse alcohol as a "sleeping pill" is dangerous and ineffective. Although alcohol can make you sleepy, it is disruptive to the normal sleep pattern. Alcohol affected sleep is shallow and not particularly restful. You wake up frequently during the night and develop a lighter sleep. This can lead to increased alcohol consumption and greater sleep problems.

  • Avoid noise and light disturbance

    Although you can sometimes alleviate light and sound disturbances, they should be avoided if possible. Such measures also include that if your partner snores heavily, you need separate bedrooms.

  • The bedroom temperature and ventilation

    Good sleep is facilitated by a comfortable climate in your bedroom. There are large individual differences in what is perceived as pleasant. A temperature as low as 16 C (60 F) in the bedroom is considered favorable.

  • Activities before sleep

    It may be useful to exert yourself physically, such as taking a walk in the evening. Exhausting mental activity, such as studies, does however not facilitate a good night's sleep.

    Try to create a calm, relaxed and "cozy" atmosphere for the evening. Discussion of problems or worrying about the next day's problems can make it impossible to sleep.

    It is clear, though, that cuddling and sex can have a sleep-favouring effect.

  • Sleeping ritual

    Even small children put a lot of emphasis on certain rituals, like reading a fairy tale. It can be quite useful to create similar private habits. One can read a book or listen to rela music. Many use a glass of milk with honey to help falling asleep.

    Television is certainly the most widely used "sleeping pill". Action movies or controversial discussion programs may, however, prevent sleep.

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