The summer months, and therefore the holiday season, are over. What is the main thing we associate with holidays? Relaxing, unwinding, sleeping in, and gathering new strength to return to our everyday life with renewed energy. But why limit this wonderful feeling of restfulness to just two weeks a year? We would like to provide you with practical tips that will bring more relaxation to your everyday life as well as better (winter) sleep.
The basis: Restful sleep
Sleeping for about seven to eight hours each night gives the body enough time to recover. The body needs this time to cope with daily over-stimulation, especially after a stressful day at work. The immune system is also very active during the night, for example, by producing more white blood cells. Starting each new day rested and relaxed makes you fitter, more balanced and more efficient. On average, Austrians get enough sleep each night, but a recent study showed that just under half of the population does not get a fully restful night’s sleep. Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna have been observing a significant increase in sleep problems since 2007: 30% of respondents reported having problems falling asleep and 51% having problems getting a full night’s sleep. The reason, in most cases, is simple: internal stress. Let us inspire you with our tips to feel more relaxed and get a better night’s sleep!
- Tip 1: Exercise to relax body and soul
Falling on the couch after a stressful day in the office may be your first impulse, but it is not conducive to relaxation and sleep the following night. Just 10 to 15 minutes of sports per day can sustainably improve sleep quality. A walk in the fresh air also works wonders for mental regeneration. However, a demanding sports program in the late evening should be avoided: the effort stimulates your sympathetic nervous system, delaying the necessary sleepiness by several hours.
- Tip 2: Reorganize the bedroom as an oasis of well-being
It is difficult to find inner peace when you are surrounded by chaos – reorganizing the bedroom with minimal clutter can have a positive effect. TV should be banned from the bedroom – reading a few pages of a book will carry you off to dreamland faster than an action movie. Indoor plants also promote the quality of sleep: for example, Aloe Vera and the Yucca Palm filter pollutants from the air and provide a pleasant level of air humidity. Even the right temperature can help you fall asleep: Studies have shown that falling asleep in humans is related to a decrease in body temperature and that a lower temperature persists during sleep. The recommended temperature for the bedroom is between 16 and 18 degrees. Do not forget to ventilate well!
- Tip 3: Set up electronics-free zones and timings
Nowadays, people spend too much time in front of screens, most people work on the computer for a large part of the day, and in their free time the cell phone provides quick distractions. Due to the constant availability, however, our nervous system is constantly on alert, and this puts us under constant stress. The most beautiful moments are actually the ones spent away from the online world, when we can enjoy the moment without a screen in front of our noses. Therefore, set up mobile-free zones or set times when your mobile phone stays at home. Electronic devices are out of place in the bedroom anyway, and a little stroll can feel like a mini-vacation if the phone in your pocket is not constantly buzzing and calling your attention.
- Tip 4: Use health-promoting products for restful nights
Certain nutritional ingredients can contribute to mental balance and support normal, deep sleep. Stressed individuals who find it hard to switch off can benefit from group B vitamins. Vitamin B6, B12, thiamine, niacin and biotin contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system and the mind, and thereby support well-being. Various plant extracts have also been used for a long time to aid sleep. Ashwagandha, for example, supports a normal sleep onset phase, and hops contributes to normal sleep.
Heavy meals are not recommended in the evening. But if you are looking for a snack in the evening, walnuts, bananas or even roasted soy beans can be particularly recommended – these foods have a particularly high content of L-tryptophan. This amino acid is a precursor to the "happiness hormone" serotonin, which in turn affects the production of the "sleep hormone" melatonin. This "bedtime sweet" puts our bodies into sleep mode even before we go to bed.
- Tip 5: Clear your head with daily reports and plans
A busy mind is as bad for sleep as a full stomach. Unfinished tasks can often keep you awake during the night. To combat this, you can make daily reports in the form of a diary or create a to-do list and tick off the things you have done every night. Also, note down the things that need to be done the next day. Because everything that is written down is processed differently by the brain and no longer disturbs your dreaming. If you don’t have much time in the mornings, it is a good idea to prepare your things on the previous evening. Now you can relax and gather the strength you need for the next day while you sleep.