First aid for sleep: a few tips!
Faced with sleep disorders and choppy or short nights sleep, the use of sleeping pills should not be the first resort. What if we improve the environment and quality of our sleep instead?
You may have read it somewhere: France is one of the largest European consumers of sleeping pills. PNearly 46 million boxes of hypnotics were sold in the country in 2017, as shown in the latest assessment by the Drug Agency. About 13% of French people have already sought sleep aid by resorting to medication.
However, in this inexorable fight that many of us have waged against insomnia, night awakenings and difficulties falling asleep on a daily basis, drugs are not the only solution. Especially since the long-term side effects of sleeping pills are likely to overshadow the benefits: dependence, risk of a “rebound” effect when treatment is stopped, drowsiness during the day, complicated awakening in the morning… In short, nothing very encouraging on the horizon, nor very effective.
So what options do you have left? What solutions to help you?
Of course we advise you to take an interest in Helight Sleep, because we truly believe that it is an optimal solution and red light ’Helight’ could be your ally for a restful sleep.
But you can already start with basic measures, which could be summed up by “bedroom hygiene”.
What do we want to talk about? What the High Health Authority (HAS) recalls in very simple terms: to treat insomnia and return to good quality sleep, the first treatment is non-medicated. This includes :
- a quality sleep environment
- a healthy lifestyle
- good sleep patterns
Quality sleep environment matters
Many of us, according to the INVS, transform our bedrooms into a leisure space, rather than a place to rest. Newsflash: this is not a good idea.
The figures speak for themselves: 57% of 18 to 55 year olds have a television in their bedroom, 60% of 25-35 year olds have more than three electronic devices near their bed.
Light: let there be sleep!
We all know that it has become all to common to binge-watch our favorite series comfortably propped up against some pillows with a duvet pulled up to our ears. The problem is that blue light from screens and artificial lighting disrupts the functioning of your internal biological clock.
And yes, light plays a fundamental role in the good synchronization of your organism. In your eye, small cells capture the ambient light and transmit information to your brain. If, at bedtime, they see a lot of light, especially blue light similar to daylight, they will not be able to tell your body that it is time to sleep. As a result, the production of the sleep hormone melatonin is disrupted. Your body is unable to put out the lights and register that the day is well and truly over.
However, in our modern lives, we are strongly exposed, throughout the day, to blue light: that of screens, that of indoor artificial lighting (where we spend almost 90% of our awoke time). Our circadian rhythm is disturbed and in the evening, sleep evades us.
In your room:
- Make it as dark as possible at bedtime. If a streetlight was installed near your house and leaks through a window, invest in blackout curtains;
- Do not turn on the ceiling lights at night, favor a soft, dimmed light;
- Banish the bedroom screens. (Watching a movie until 3 am will not help you sleep even if it is in the living room …)
- If you have to get up at night, don’t turn on all the lights, use a dim light (or your Helight sleep!)
Noise is your worst enemy!
Let’s be real: to sleep, you need serenity. If the soundproofing of the room leaves something to be desired, opt for earplugs: a simple, effective and inexpensive aid.
Perhaps you have heard of the effect of white noise for falling asleep? White noise corresponds to a kind of background noise, sizzling or hissing, it is difficult to clearly explain it. According to the extraordinary number of views of online videos that promise hours of white noise to easily fall asleep (especially to put babies to sleep), the practice is met with some success.
So white noise, does it really help? There is very little scientifically based data to verify this and no consensus on the subject. White noise, for some, might attenuate other ambient noises by saturation effect, while for others, it might help focus attention and therefore reduce negative ruminations. To date, the long-term effects of using this technique to fall asleep are unknown. You must try it yourself.
We don’t always think about it first, but the quality of bedding plays a proven role in the quality of our night. What helps sleep better than a comfortable mattress, a good pillow, soft blankets?
We spend a third of our lives in bed. Good bedding is a good start for quality sleep. The ideal lifespan of a mattress would be 10 years and you should consider changing the box spring at the same time.
Another aspect of comfort is room temperature: neither too hot nor too cold, we generally cite 18 ° C as the ideal temperature.
Finally, your bedroom should, above all things, be a place to sleep: a bed, a bedside table, and that’s it. In practice, it is well known that in urban areas, there’s often a lack of space, and it can happen that the bedroom also serves as an office, storage area, space for sports activities, etc. Do as you can, but be aware that a bedroom should ideally be exclusively a place to sleep.
Relaxation and soft music: adults also have the right to create a bedtime ritual
Once your sleeping area is organized to promote sleep quality, you can go further, and arrange it in a place conducive to relaxation, to better help you fall asleep.
Because in a hectic, fast-paced life, taking time for yourself is a challenge. The current success of meditation, yoga and relaxation exercises testifies to our need to find a little serenity in the daily hubbub.
Bedtime also shouldn’t be rushed. On the contrary, it should become a real ritual, an expected moment of calm and reunion with yourself. If you are a parent, you know how it works to prepare a child for sleep. Why wouldn’t it work the same for you and insomnia?
It’s up to you to find what will best fit into your lifestyle:
- a time dedicated to relaxation in your bedroom;
- 10 minutes of reading before falling asleep – it seems that reading a few minutes every day would help reduce stress;
- some breathing exercises, calmly;
- a time of meditation, with soft music…
You can, if you want to, take the opportunity to diffuse some essential oils in your room, if you like the smell: lavender, marjoram or even Roman chamomile would have soothing and relaxing properties. (We elaborate on this right here!)
Bonus tip: don’t neglect your day
Finally, we know you already know, but remember that a good sleep is also fashioned during the day. According to the recommendations, you can try:
- a lighter meal in the evening
- a little physical exercise during the day
- no coffee or stimulants after 4 p.m.
Need a boost? Favor natural remedies
If you’ve already done everything and sleep continues to evade you, especially if you are going through a particularly stressful or difficult period, there are herbal or homeopathic treatments that can also help you get back to sleep, an alternative to sleeping pills.
And of course, if you are looking for a more daily, natural solution, without side effects, which does not disrupt your habits and will contribute to the good light atmosphere of your sleeping area, we can only advise you to take a look at Helight sleep. But you are the one to know.
So, ready for a good night sleep?
Read our articles on how to sleep well!