Each year, 36% of French people report suffering from at least one sleep disorder¹ (insomnia, night waking, sleep apnea, etc.). Sleep, while often overlooked, is a key component of our health. Therefore, we deliver you 5 simple and easy habits to set up to have the sleep you have always dreamed of.
1. Know your sleeping needs
Knowing how many hours you need to sleep is a way to improve the quality of your sleep. In fact, we do not all need the same number of hours to feel at our best. Some will just sleep 6 hours a night while others will need more than 8. We are unequal when it comes to sleep, which is why we must learn to identify our needs, and this will require a little self analysis.
We advise you to start the analysis on a weekend, when you don’t need to wake up in the morning. This test must take place in a quiet period of your life, without stress or psychological disturbances
To help you, you can fill out a sleep logbook where you can write down all the useful details for your analysis
The first thing to do is to go to bed as soon as the first signs of fatigue appear : yawning, heavy eyelids, stretching, etc. If you fall asleep in less than 15 minutes… bingo! You have found your bedtime.
Then, do not set an alarm and note the time at which you wake up without feeling tired yet.
Then, initiate a little “sleep ritual” so that your brain assimilates this action with that of going to sleep. It can be drinking herbal tea before bedtime, reading a few pages of a book, brushing your teeth, meditating, putting your phone in airplane mode, writing your daily achievements, listening to a podcast, etc.
To finish and refine your analysis, you should do the test several days in a row. Once you have found what is in your opinion, the ideal sleep time, do the test on a day when you need to change your alarm clock. Calculate the time at which you should go to bed, and try to see if you feel tired when you wake up.
2. Implement a regular sleeping schedule
In order for you to know your sleep rhythm, it is important to have a regular sleep schedule. Your quota of sleeping hours or the time at which you go to bed does not matter as long as you maintain a set amount of sleeping hours, even on the weekends !
especting your personal schedule is essential to avoid sleep deprivation or a deterioration in the quality of the sleep. It can also create a disruption in your biological clock.
Therefore, we recommend you keep the same time you go to bed and wake up so as not to disturb your sleep. This way you can benefit from restorative nights.
3. Take a nap
We are often told that napping prevents you from falling asleep at night, well… think again! Giving yourself a few minutes of relaxation is far more beneficial than you think.
A micro-nap, as its name suggests, is a light sleep between 5 and 20 minutes maximum. The duration of the nap corresponds to the sleeping phase that precedes deep sleep. It is important to not exceed 20 minutes or you will wake up even more tired.
During those few minutes of rest, your body can release all pressure. Various studies have shown that a micro-nap can improve memory, promote creativity, reduce stress, regulate mood, and increase productivity. In the long run, naps can help strengthen your immune system and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
When you suffer from insomnia, napping is not forbidden, quite the contrary! Being able to give yourself a moment of relaxation helps reduce stress at bedtime when you can’t sleep. However, we advise you not to take your micro-nap too late in the day.
4. Spend time in the daylight and limit your screen time.
Did you know that your biological clock responds to light exposure? When we talk about biological clocks, we are talking about the hormone that promotes sleep and tiredness: melatonin.
Indeed, melatonin and daylight go hand in hand. Our internal clock is cadenced by the alternating day/night that corresponds to our rhythm of life. When we are exposed to daylight, our body knows that it is not time to go to bed. Therefore, expose yourself to as much daylight as possible so as not to disturb your sleep rhythm at night.
Conversely, in the evening, a bright light delays sleep. At bedtime, we often have bad habits such as scrolling on Instagram on our smartphones, watching a series on our tablet or falling asleep with the TV in the background. These activities should be avoided as much as possible because of two reasons: screens reflect very bright lights and artificial lights slow down the production of melatonin and delays our ability to fall asleep. To fall asleep choose a quiet and relaxing activity.
5. Implement healthy eating habits
If you suffer from sleeping problems, it could be because of bad eating habits.
To begin, it is essential that you eat in order to avoid stomach cramps, but it is recommended that you consume meals that are neither too rich, too greasy, or too plentiful because sleep requires a low body temperature for digestion and increased digestion before bed increases body temperatures.
Also, try to promote foods that are rich in slow-releasing carbs in the evening (pasta, rice, etc.) to facilitate the production of serotonin which is essential for the secretion of melatonin. At bedtime, drinking a sweet herbal tea or a glass of warm honey milk promotes serotonin production. In addition, to avoid spending restless nights, stimulants such as coffee, tea or alcohol should be avoided before bed.