Sufficient and restful sleep is one of the most important foundations for a healthy life. Insomnia, frequent awakenings and lying awake prevent nighttime recovery and harm our daily well-being and our health. Here you can find out what you can do to prevent waking up at night and what simple tips you can use to fall asleep and stay asleep better.
Table of Contents
- Insomnia – a widespread phenomenon
- Common reasons for insomnia
- The best tips against insomnia at night
1. Insomnia – a widespread phenomenon
More than 80% of employed people in Germany sleep poorly and one in ten suffers from serious sleep disorders. Having difficulty falling asleep, repeatedly waking up from sleep and lying awake for long periods of time not only damages our daily form, performance and psyche, but can also lead to serious health problems such as an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and depression. If we toss and turn at night and simply can't fall asleep, the important regeneration doesn't take place and we suffer more from tiredness, exhaustion or difficulty concentrating the next day.
Every night we go through several sleep cycles, which in turn are made up of a fixed sequence of sleep phases . Frequent periods of wakefulness and sleep interruptions disrupt this process and prevent a healthy sleep structure, which reduces the amount of deep sleep and prevents the recovery processes in the body and brain from proceeding optimally. Because we usually go to bed at a certain time and have to get up in the morning, the amount of time we sleep at night is reduced and chronic sleep deficiencyl can arise.
2. Common reasons for insomnia
An irregular sleep rhythm, poor sleeping habits or the wrong diet – insomnia can arise from numerous reasons. You can find out more about possible reasons why we wake up at night and simply can't get back to sleep at this place in our sleep magazine.
Basically, of course, it is important to create the best possible conditions for undisturbed sleep with good sleep hygiene, a healthy diet and the right evening routines before going to bed. But what can we do if we lie awake at night and just can't get back to sleep?
3. The best tips against insomnia at night
#1 Avoid light and brightness
Bright light signals the body to reduce production of the sleep hormone melatonin and prepare to wake up. In order to avoid waking up early at night, it is advisable to keep the bedroom generally dark and avoid disturbing light sources, for example through thick curtains or roller shutters.
If you wake up at night, you should definitely avoid bright lighting or screen light, for example when using your smartphone. This means you essentially stay in “sleep mode” as your body registers the ongoing darkness and it’s easier for you to calm down and fall asleep again.
#2 Keep calm, avoid stress and promote relaxation
Chronic stress, mental stress or worries and fears often cause us to think a lot and find it difficult to relax even before we go to sleep. An increased cortisol level caused by Stress inhibits melatonin production in the evening, which means that a deep sleep is prevented, we wake up more often and, above all, we no longer find our way back to sleep as easily.
If you wake up at night and have trouble falling asleep again, you should definitely not put any additional pressure on yourself, as this will further promote the release of cortisol. It's best not to get angry, but to stay calm and accept the situation first. Try to find a comfortable lying position and completely relax and calm down again. Breathing exercises, calming music, a short meditation or certain fragrances and aromas, for example essential oils in candles or pillow sprays, can be particularly helpful here. You can find more tips for falling asleep in this article.
Caution: Be sure to avoid looking at the clock after waking up. This only leads to additional stress and causes further worries, for example because we lie awake for too long or only have a few hours left before we have to get up.
#3 Stop thought carousel
Our melatonin levels are highest at night. On the one hand, the versatile hormone promotes our sleep, but can have a negative effect on our mood when we are awake. Therefore, it is better not to start thinking about problems or worries during this time.
In order to prevent the famous carousel of thoughts from getting going, it can help to mentally end the day before going to bed and write down all your thoughts and feelings in a diary or a short note. You can also write down upcoming tasks and to-dos for the next day to record everything important and keep your memory in order. This way you can spend the night with a clear head and ensure less strain and tension in your brain when you wake up at night.
#4 Distract & get up briefly
If you still can't fall asleep after a long time, it's sometimes better not to toss and turn in bed, but rather to get up for a moment. With the lights dimmed, you can then pursue an activity that is as quiet and monotonous as possible. In this way, you prevent your body from being activated too much and, on the contrary, by maintaining the same level of activity, you will at best ensure that you get tired again after a while and can fall asleep again. For example, you can read a book, fold laundry or use the time to celebrate our 3rd birthday. Tip to implement.
4. More tips for better sleep
Sleeping really well over the long term is not that easy, because our sleep is influenced by numerous different factors and is a very sensitive stage despite, or perhaps because of, its importance for our health. With good sleep hygiene, a regulated sleep-wake rhythm, the right diet and one or two tricks to promote relaxation before going to bed, we can't always prevent insomnia, but we can at least help to create the best conditions for a peaceful sleep.
Insomnia & frequent sleep interruptions prevent restful sleep, can lead to lack of sleep and health problems as well as tiredness, exhaustion or difficulty concentrating during the day.
Avoid bright lights or screen lights at night, as these make it difficult to fall asleep again.
If you lie awake at night, you should stay calm, not let any stress arise and e.g. b Promote relaxation with the help of breathing exercises, mediation, music or certain scents.
Try to write down thoughts and worries in the evening or when you are awake so you can go back to bed with a clear head to reduce stress and cognitive strain.
Instead of lying awake for hours, you can get up and do something quiet so that your body gets tired again, for example from monotonous ironing or reading.
Greetings and see you soon!