Problems falling asleep are among the most common sleep disorders and harm the duration and quality of our sleep. But what can we do if we can't fall asleep despite being tired and regularly lie awake for hours? We have the most important tips for falling asleep at a glance and show you which simple methods you can use to support falling asleep and quickly find a restful sleep.
Table of contents
- Difficulty falling asleep
- The most important tips for falling asleep
- Optional sleep aids
- The guide to falling asleep
Difficulty falling asleep
Lie down, close your eyes, fall asleep - it sometimes sounds easier than it is! Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly difficult to fall asleep quickly and easily, and every second German suffers from persistent problems with sleep. According to experts, anyone who regularly has trouble getting to rest and needs more than 30 minutes to fall asleep despite being tired is suffering from serious problems falling asleep. The average time it takes adults to fall asleep is between 5 and 20 minutes. There can be many different reasons why we can't get to sleep. The most common causes include stress, incorrect sleeping habits or lack of relaxation. These factors make it difficult or impossible to fall asleep in the evening and thus not only deprive us of important hours of sleep, but also stand in the way of our regeneration at night and a healthy start to the day.
So what can we do to facilitate the natural process of falling asleep in the evening and help our bodies to find sleep gently and quickly?
The most important tips for falling asleep
A restful night's sleep begins with a good start. We have summarized the most important tips for falling asleep at a glance, so that you can relax easier in the evening and quickly fall into a peaceful sleep.
#1 Get as much daylight as possible
The happiness hormone serotonin is converted to melatonin when it gets dark. For this reason, a healthy serotonin level is not only beneficial for our mood and well-being, but also an important prerequisite for a good night's sleep. So if you get enough daylight, you support the hormone production that is crucial for sleep and promote natural tiredness and the process of falling asleep in the evening.
#2 Get regular exercise or sport
Regular exercise boosts the cardiovascular system and the metabolism in the brain, body and muscles, activates the nervous system and has a positive effect on hormone balance. An active daily routine thus promotes tiredness and the need for regeneration in the evening, has a positive effect on falling asleep and has been proven to improve sleep quality by up to 65%!
#3 Eat a healthy and balanced diet
A healthy diet and balanced nutrients have a crucial impact on how we sleep and fall asleep.
➥ Heavy meals make you sluggish, disrupt your sleep and easily distract your body while you are falling asleep. Avoid high fat or sugary foods in the evening and have one last meal, as light as possible, up to 3 hours before bedtime to complete the digestive process and avoid disturbing your sleep.
In addition, avoid nerve-stimulating stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol or nicotine in the last 4 hours before sleep.
Pay attention to your fluid intake and drink enough throughout the day. Water, light juice spritzers or unsweetened tea are best.
Some foods provide valuable nutrients that can have a positive effect on falling asleep. These include grapes (melatonin), bananas & almonds (L-tryptophan), and pumpkin seeds & whole grains (magnesium).
#4 Relax & wind down before bedtime.
Switch off, shut down and relax! Whether physical or mental, stress leads to an increased release of the stress hormone cortisol, which functions as the antagonist of the sleep hormone melatonin in the sleep-wake cycle. Thus, stress works against restful sleep and interferes with the natural process of falling asleep. Try to calm down both physically and mentally and let go of stress, worries or problems of everyday life. A beauty routine, a hot bath, or an episode of your favorite show - take at least a brief moment to switch off. Especially quiet music and meditations, the famous evening reading or specific relaxation exercises can help you find inner peace and make it easier to fall asleep.
Here you will find detailed tips for Relaxation before sleep!
#5 Establish a fixed sleep routine
Get into the habit of a set sleep routine and try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This will help your body naturally adjust to sleep in the evening, thus supporting a quick process of falling asleep.
#6 Create a quiet, dark and comfortable sleeping environment.
Light inhibits the much-needed melatonin production and therefore works against the natural tiredness and falling asleep process. So dim the lights a few hours before bedtime and try to avoid bright screens and other light sources in the evening and especially at night. You should also choose a rather cool and quiet sleeping environment so that you are not distracted and woken up again, e.g. by noise or other disturbing stimuli, especially during the process of falling asleep.
Optional help for relaxation & falling asleep
Every person reacts differently and how effective one or the other tip for falling asleep really is, depends of course on the actual cause of our problems falling asleep and our personal circumstances. Moreover, in everyday life it is not always easy to stick to all the rules or tips every day anyway.
#7 Food supplements for natural support of relaxation & sleep
Nowadays, there are already numerous safe and also scientifically proven supplements that can support your body and also psyche in the relaxation and sleep process. Many herbal extracts and natural nutrients, such as vitamins or minerals, can have a calming and relaxing effect on us and help to calm down in the evening and prepare for sleep. And falling asleep itself can also be promoted naturally with the help of a harmless food supplement, for example with preparations containing the sleep hormone melatonin. An additional intake of melatonin is usually harmless and can demonstrably promote the natural process of falling asleep. When choosing a dietary supplement, pay particular attention to the high quality of the nutrients used.
Watch out! We recommend that you only use natural relaxation or sleep aids if you need them. Chemical sleep aids influence sleep in an unnatural way, can have numerous side effects and can also quickly become addictive.
#8 Sleep Techniques: Auditory Sleep Accompaniment & Breathing Exercises.
You are already lying in bed and just can't fall asleep? Certain breathing techniques, meditative relaxation exercises or the increasingly popular auditory sleep accompaniments can be used directly to fall asleep faster. Especially when stress, thoughts and worries keep you awake, these techniques can help to release emotional as well as physical tension and focus on the upcoming rest phase. You can find useful breathing exercises in this article. We've explored how music can also contribute to a restful sleep process here.
Your sleep guide
The circumstances under which we fall asleep best and fastest vary from person to person and depend on many different factors. That's why it's important to listen to your sleep needs and your personal feelings in order to find the optimal conditions for you to relax before sleep, to fall asleep and to get a restful night's sleep. After all, a good night's sleep is and remains one of the most important foundations for a healthy daily start!
Best wishes and sleep well!