Tips for better sleep!
According to the French national sleep and vigilance institute (Institut national du sommeil et de la vigilance - INSV), one third of the French population suffers from sleep disorders. Good quality sleep, however, is important if we are to recover from the past day and to recharge our batteries for the next day.
Some precious tips for sleeping better
- Try to go to bed and wake up at regular times, even on weekends; expose yourself to daylight as soon as you get up to adjust your biological clock.
- Exercise regularly throughout the day, but avoid any intense physical efforts two to three hours before going to bed.
- Stop taking stimulant drinks such as coffee, tea, etc. at least four hours before going to bed and avoid smoking as it lengthens the time required to go to sleep.
- Eat a light dinner, at least two hours before going to bed.
- Try to maintain a temperature of circa 19 degrees. An overly high temperature will prolong the time it takes to get to sleep.
- Avoid taking over-long naps in the afternoon.
- Try to relax before going to bed: a warm shower, music, light reading, and avoid thinking about stressful situations.
Finally, you can opt for relaxing, non-addictive plants such as hop, passion flower, hawthorn or lemon balm. Taken as infusions or tablets after the evening meal, they promote falling asleep and contribute to achieving peaceful nights and restorative sleep.
What you should know
Have you ever heard of the "sleep train"? As soon as the first signs appear: tingling eyes, yawning... you should dash to bed! Our sleep is organised into successive cycles of approximately 90 minutes (4 to 6 depending on whether you are short or long sleeper). Each cycle consists of a phase of light sleep, followed by deep (restorative) sleep and ends with REM sleep (dream sleep). At the start of the night, deep sleep predominates. During the second half of the night, REM and light sleep predominate.
If you let the sleep warning signs pass, you might miss the first sleep cycle and, in this case, you will need to wait for the next one to come round... one and a half hours later. There's nothing like it to knock your biological clock out of sync!