Green cup standing on the nightstand next to the bed

Sleep better: 6 tips

"Better sleep tips 1x1" and tricks for falling asleep from nutrition expert Isabelle Princess Reuß

Better sleep tips and sleep tricks deserve my full attention, because: I need my sleep - always have. And I love it! I've never been one of those people who sleeps for 3 hours and then somehow carries on as if everything is OK (this way of life may work for a short time, but I can't imagine it's really sustainable for anyone). I know how much sleep determines success, energy and health. We put so much thought and effort into what we eat, how we exercise and what exercises are optimal for our bodies. So why don't we spend the same time and effort on our bedroom and sleep quality to get the best night's rest possible? I have learned to sleep better with the following 6 tips.

There are so many sleep tricks, theories (as with everything) and trends on the subject of "better sleep tips and life hacks". I've looked into a lot of smart sleep insights, the different hormones our bodies release and what helps and hinders our sleep; and I've tried out how these insights work for me. What I want to share with you today are a few learnings, as these tips have helped me sleep better. If these tips don't help you, you are advised to see a good sleep counsellor. Of course, these tips won't do you any good if you're sleeping on a bad mattress or an uncomfortable pillow. However, as with all healthy living issues, I am convinced that it is best to learn how to listen to your body in order to find out what is best for you. Nevertheless, I'm sure some of these points will be helpful to you.

1. Better sleep tips: Change your attitude

This is always where it starts: The challenge is to change the way I see my sleep - to value it and see it as a really important part of my health. Sleep is not only a must but also a chance for our body to regenerate and recharge. While our mind is switched off, the organism is working so that - when we wake up - we can live our lives to the full again. Many experts have explained to me why I could only sleep better with their tips. I have studied many smart insights about sleep, the different hormones our body releases, and what helps and hinders our sleep; and I have tried out how these insights work for me. What I want to share with you today are a few simple tips that work well for myself.

2. All sleep tricks start with switching off

This is a big challenge for me. When I work late into the evening, I need an hour away from my computer, away from the internet, away from emails, my mobile phone and my to-do lists. The light from our screens stimulates our brains and keeps us awake. Surfing the net fills our heads with information and time flies. And suddenly we get much less sleep than we planned. If we use this time to consciously switch off and disconnect from the world of work, we allow our brain to prepare for a deep sleep.

3. Eat healthy and you will sleep soundly

This is a key part of the "Better Sleep Tips 1x1": It makes sense not to have a big, heavy meal before you go to bed, but it doesn't work to go to sleep hungry either. I try to eat something - two hours before I go to sleep - but logically there are some days when this doesn't work. In this case, the choice of what we eat should be made wisely. Foods with a lot of starch or sugar prevent the release of growth hormones if eaten within 90 minutes before going to bed. These hormones are responsible for the regeneration process, so we naturally want to help you and not hinder them.

I have found for myself that protein foods help me the most; there are also scientific studies that confirm this. This can be lentil soup, hummus or almond butter - things that are easy to digest and don't put the body under stress. Also, drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day helps - not just before you go to sleep.

4. Avoid the 'Quick Fix

Many people are becoming more and more dependent on short-term, fast-acting, "I need it now" solutions. This is what caffeine and other sweet "energy" snacks do for us when we need an energy boost. But ultimately these are not sustainable solutions and in fact we feel even more exhausted. I try to get my energy from the food I eat and from my habits. When we consume too much caffeine, we increase the amount of cortisol our body produces (better known as the stress hormone). It gives us quick energy but it doesn't help in the long run. Our body comes under stress, the immune system is weakened and the body is drained. I love the smell of coffee and enjoy it from time to time, but I don't think it should be our main source of energy and therefore can even work against otherwise helpful sleep tricks if it becomes a habit.

5. Keep it with nature

I love (almost) all herbs - lavender is probably the best known for helping our bodies to relax - in the bath, in a tea or in a pillow. A moment of relaxation for body and mind is an integral part of my personal "Better Sleep Tips 1x1".  Having a routine before bed helps your body get ready and is one of the most effective sleep tricks. I also love candles that smell good. This leads directly to my next point...

6. Put less stress on yourself

Easier said than done, isn't it? However, the whole topic of "better sleep tips and falling asleep tricks" can never work if this point is not taken into account. For me, it works best, especially at the end of the day, when I take a moment, breathe deeply, review the day and feel grateful. It sounds simple, but an attitude of gratitude can really work wonders. It allows you to focus on all the good rather than what didn't go well, your worries and fears. Tomorrow will come and you can face its challenges then. But for now, look at what is good. Dim the lights down in your bedroom because this increases the amount of melatonin your body produces; your body is preparing for sleep. Think about something positive, learn to relax and see the wonderful and beautiful things in your world.