Sleep problems: What can you do for insomnia?

sleep problems

Sleep problems? Too little sleep makes you sick! We tell you what else you can do besides counting sheep.

You are in bed, tossing and turning and you cannot sleep. you finally fell asleep, but then you wake up anyway. Everyone has that at some point. This so-called incident and sleep are the best known sleep .

Why getting enough sleep is important

You often only notice how important a good night’s sleep is when you don’t have it. A relaxed night’s sleep ensures that we can start a new day motivated and full of energy. But that’s not all! Our body is also working at full speed at night.

Damaged cells are repaired and your metabolism is regulated. your immune system is activated and strengthened. At night you have brains time to quietly information to process and your long-term memory to be hit . You learn in your sleep, so to speak.

A good night’s sleep supports you during weight loss and muscle building. During your sleep, your appetite-regulating hormone leptin multiplies . This will make you less hungry the next morning. The growth and recovery of your muscles also happens during your sleep.

Consequences of sleep problems

If you don’t get enough sleep, you automatically start your day worse. You are irritated and everything is quickly too much. Your body is stressed. Who sleeps poorly, has difficulties to themselves concentrate . And that can affect your performance at work, at school, or during your training, because you can’t give it your all. It is difficult for you to learn and remember new things.

© milan2099

Problems falling asleep and staying asleep confuse your hormone balance. More of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin is produced. The result is: you are hungry all the time and crave fatty and sweet things. Alternatively, you can choose low-calorie and high-protein snacks.

Your muscle growth is also negatively affected by a lack of sleep. The production of testosterone decreases . Often physical complaints arise, such as a severe headache. Sleep deprivation can have serious consequences for your physical and mental health . Persistent problems falling asleep and staying asleep can lead to serious sleep disturbances.

Tip from our editor: If you continue to suffer from sleeping problems for a long time, it is best to see your doctor.

Causes of insomnia

Ein-und Durchschlafprobleme
© sdominick

Sleeping problems can have many different causes . Here are some examples:

  • Stress at work or private.
  • You are currently in a difficult situation (exam, divorce, etc.).
  • Health problems (cough, pain, allergy or illness).
  • Wrong sleep rhythm (you go to bed too early or too late).
  • It is too hot or too cold in your bedroom.
  • You ate too much and too late in the evening.
  • Noise disturbance.
  • Too much alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine.
  • Too long afternoon nap.
  • Bad evening routine (eg watching an action movie in bed).
  • Too late and too intensive training.

10 tips for insomnia

# 1 follow day and night rhythm

Try to find a regular daily routine and eat somewhat at the same times. Also make an evening ritual . That way your body knows it is almost bedtime. Sleep rituals can also help here. Think of a walk in the evening, listening to relaxed music or breathing and relaxation techniques .

# 2 your bed and you

Only use your bed for sleeping. Your body gets used to it and now connects your bed to sleep. Buy a bed and a mattress that you can lie on comfortably. Also choose bedding that feels comfortable to you.

Don’t go to bed too early or too late. If you go to bed when you are not really tired yet, you end up just tossing and turning. Then read a book or prepare a meal for the next day.

# 3 Check your sleeping environment

Take a critical look at your bedroom. Are you feeling well? Isn’t that mountain of clothes over your chair too big? Transform your bedroom into a warm, cozy place where you feel good. Banish outstanding tasks such as ironing or dirty laundry from your bedroom.

Make sure there is enough oxygen in your bedroom. Air your room well before you go to sleep. The perfect sleeping temperature is between 18 and 21 degrees. Avoid clocks in your bedroom or turn them the other way. Looking at the clock all the time when you can’t sleep will only cause stress.

Frau mit Schlafmaske
© Christina Pedrazzini / Science Photo Libary

# 4 Avoid disruptive factors

Smartphone, tablet, laptop or TV are taboo before you go to sleep. The blue light reduces the production of important sleep hormones . Digital stress , having to be accessible at all times, also keeps you awake. Movies and computer games also make you more difficult to fall asleep.

Make sure your sleeping environment is quiet and dark. Turn off all light and sound sources . Do you live on a busy street or do you have a party neighbor? Then use earplugs .

# 5 Balanced diet – the right evening meal

Eat healthy! Sugar and fatty foods are heavy on the stomach. Eat an easily digestible and light meal in the evening .

# 6 Alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes

Try to limit or eliminate your caffeine intake in the afternoon. Also, alcohol can adversely affect your sleep. You may fall asleep faster, but you do not sleep deeply and do not sleep through. A cigarette in the evening can also make it harder for you to fall asleep.

# 7 Time your workout

Exercise helps you fall asleep. However, an extremely tiring workout too late at night can make it harder for you to fall asleep. Schedule your workout sometime in the afternoon. If you can only exercise at night, schedule it so that you are ready 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.

# 8 Stop your thoughts

Do your thoughts keep you awake or do they startle you even in the middle of the night? Then distract yourself. Write down your thoughts in a booklet. This way you not only put the booklet aside, but also your thoughts.

sleep problems
© NitiChuysakul Photography

You can also count sheep . As long as you don’t get excited if you lose count. All monotonous and calm thoughts help you fall asleep. For example, you can imagine that you are lying on the beach and hear the sound of the sea.

# 9 Take a warm shower

warm shower or a nice bath in the evening can also help you fall asleep more easily. Warm water dilates your blood vessels and relaxes your muscles . Just don’t shower too hot, because that way you stimulate your blood circulation and wake up again.


  • Problems falling asleep and staying asleep are a known problem.
  • Sleeping too little can make you sick.
  • Only go to bed when you are tired.
  • Avoid light and sound sources.
  • Distract yourself by thinking about something nice.
  • Try to find an evening ritual.

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