You do not need to be a rocket scientist to get a good night's sleep. With this checklist of good practices, you will put all the chances on your side. Let us get started!
Evening routine, good evening!
Our body needs structure. It is important for it to "ritualise" the bedtime event so that it can anticipate it and get into the right frame of mind. "Night routine" allows the brain to gently make it understand that it is time to go to sleep.
You do not need a long list of complicated actions! Do not be too ambitious and set up simple, comforting appointments that you can repeat every night. A study at University College London found that it takes the brain about 66 days to establish a new habit! So, let us be persistent and start with the simple things... And here is a list of simple and easy actions to implement!
Make room in your brain
Start by freeing up space by getting rid of all the last little things you must do before the end of the day: put away the groceries, change the cat's litter box, choose your outfit for tomorrow, pack your bag, set your alarm clock... Get your problems out of your head! Preparing for the next day in advance allows your brain to reduce the mental load and go into "relaxation" mode. It is a great gift to your brain, and it will know how to return it to you once you are in bed!
Give your room a fresh look
For optimal sleep, it is advisable to keep the room at 18°C. Open the window and air the room for about 20 minutes before going to bed. You can even invite some green plants to purify the air and create a serene atmosphere in your cocoon.
Single out the shower in the evenings
This study has shown that taking a hot shower (or bath) improves the quality of sleep and makes it easier to fall asleep. It is best to take your shower one hour before bedtime to give the skin time to cool down and to avoid disturbing your body's circadian rhythm .
Reconnect with your body
The evening is the perfect time to reconnect with it. And there is no shortage of ideas for doing so: 15 minutes on your favourite meditation app, a little cuddle with yourself, a gentle mini yoga session... Breathing is a key element in helping you fall asleep. Try belly-breathing exercises, which put your nervous system at rest and relax your body.
Don't get into your pyjamas too early!
You may not realise it, but pyjamas are a real signal to your brain. By getting into your night clothes too early, you disassociate this action from its true meaning to your brain, which is "come on, I'm going to bed!" The action of "putting on pyjamas" needs to be ritualised, in the same way as "brushing your teeth" and then "rinsing your face", etc. All these actions should be part of your famous evening routine and, if possible, always done in the same order.
Do some reading
But not too much! While it is true that reading is good for calming the body and mind, reading for more than fifteen minutes "stimulates the intellect and wakes up the brain" according to Joëlle Adrien, neurobiologist and research director at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm).
Take care of your self-esteem
Once you are in your bed, practice 5 minutes of positive thinking. There is nothing like it for soothing your mind and boosting morale. You do not know how to do it? It is pretty simple. Repeat these affirmative sentences to yourself: I did well today, tomorrow I will be able to do great things, it will be a great day, I believe in myself and my abilities... Not yet convinced? We recommend this YouTube video to give you courage!
Prepare for your next night... as soon as you wake up!
Here is our final piece of advice, be consistent in your quest for perfect sleep. Observe your overall sleep, understand what works for you and what does not, change your (bad) habits gradually. Life is long and you will need to sleep! This is a marathon, not a sprint, so do not make it too hard on yourself.
Keep an eye out for small problems that have bothered you in the past few nights. Often, the sleep disorder symptoms are there but we do not listen to them: frequent awakenings during the night, difficulty in staying asleep for long, tiredness as soon as you wake up, the feeling of not having recovered enough, the feeling of suffocation during the night, night sweating... All this should alert you.
If you are concerned about this and want to make it clear in your mind, the best way is to do a sleep test, in a hospital (polysomnography ) or directly at home. Sunrise is a certified sleep test for the diagnosis of sleep apnea: put the 3gr sensor on your chin before going to sleep and receive the information of your night as soon as you wake up on your smartphone! To learn more about our medical device, click here!