Whether you are an avid reader of our articles or have arrived here after a google search, it is undoubtedly with the same intention: Your sleep is disturbed and you have trouble recovering. Do you even suffer from sleep disturbances ? Or are you just looking for a way to sleep better , feel good about yourself as soon as you wake up?

Everyone has the right to restful sleep . So stay here, we'll give you all the tips to get there.

In this article :

  • Where are you with your nights?

  • What is sleep and why is it important for our health?

  • A deep sleep: the essentials

  • For an even deeper and more restorative sleep: All the solutions

How are you doing with your nights?

No need to wait for exams to suspect sleep problems, let's act preventively before it affects your health too much!

We are all different, in the way we sleep too. Some have a short and effective sleep (lucky), others need more time. The consequences of poor sleep:

  • 🥱 Body fatigue

  • 💤 Reduced alertness

  • 😤 Irritability, change of mood

  • 😿 Depressive symptoms, low morale

  • 🍔 Weight gain

  • 👨‍🔬 Hypertension

  • 🦠 Infections

  • 🍦 Diabetes (repeating nights of less than 6 hours increases the risk of developing type II diabetes by 28%)!

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? It may be an effect of lack of sleep. Be careful, other things can cause these symptoms, do not take any risks and consult a health professional to rule out any illness. Comic bubble containing 3 z representing sleep on a pink background

👉 There may also be a link between lack of sleep and cardiovascular disease , heart attack , stroke . The nature and number of certain immune cells would be altered by sleep deprivation!

In any case, we do not advise you to beat the world record held by Randy Gardner, a then 17-year-old American student who stayed awake 264 hours under medical supervision, which makes a total of 11 consecutive days without sleep. . After 72 hours without sleep, we can go so far as to have hallucinations!

Either way, if you're having trouble sleeping, don't worry, you're not alone:

  • 🥱 1/3 of humans are affected by sleep disorders

  • 😴 15% of the population is affected by chronic insomnia

  • 🫁 5-7% of adults suffer from sleep apnea

  • 😰 1 out of 2 French people declare themselves stressed and even very stressed.

  • ❌ 45% of 25-45 year olds consider that they sleep less than they need.

What is sleep and why is it important for our health?

Sleep is a recurrent state of reduced consciousness and alertness, accompanied by a decrease in muscle tone but partially retaining sensory perception.

sleeping woman with sleep mask in bed, dark image

It is a succession of 4 to 6 successive cycles , from 60 to 120 minutes each on average. Sleep is part of our circadian rhythm , our body's clock.

♼ For the little reminder, sleep is composed of several alternating phases :

  1. Falling asleep, transition phase separating wakefulness from sleep

  2. Light slow sleep

  3. Deep slow sleep

  4. REM sleep

📂 See our file: how long does a sleep cycle last .

That's it for the scientific part, and we don't yet know all of the detailed mechanisms behind his observations.

What we are sure of is that even if they still have a mysterious function (memory, immunity, etc.), these phases are decisive for our health and our many biological functions. Deep slow-wave sleep is the most restorative .

🦾 You are a machine. While you sleep, you waste no time and unconsciously your body works to regenerate your abilities:

  • 🥱 fight against fatigue (we are of relentless logic).

  • 🦠 elimination of toxins

  • 😎 stress and mood regulation: well-being

  • 🩺 improvement of the immune system

  • 💪 contribution to cell renewal (rather at the nervous and muscular level)

  • 📝 memory and learning stimulation

  • 🧠 brain maturation

  • 🍬 blood sugar regulation

  • 🔧 cell reconstruction

  • 🧐 improvement of concentration and alertness during the day

Did you know ?

  • Sleep occupies almost a third of our life

  • The French sleep on average 1:30 less than 50 years ago

  • The sleep cycle varies over the course of a night and over a lifetime

  • Lack of sleep increases the risk of catching a cold by 4%

  • On full moon nights, deep sleep time is reduced by an average of 30%

A deep sleep: the essentials

A sleep mask and an alarm clock on a blue background

Admit that you haven't read our file – sleep, how to sleep better ?

If you haven't seen it or fell asleep reading it, here's a hard-hitting recap.

Material organization: the toolbox of restorative sleep

  • ⌚ sleep tracking device (Apple Watch, Oura)

  • 🤿 opaque curtains or masks

  • 🔇 bedroom or quiet environment

  • 🛌 comfortable mattress

  • 💨 adapted posture, with a quality cushion to keep the spine straight

  • 🥼 suitable clothing

  • 📱 relaxation app

  • 👓 blue light blocking glasses

The basics for a deep sleep (little reminder)

Whether you are a droid, wookie, dark side or Jedi master, the following advice you must respect:

#beginningofStarWarsmusic (the one with the violins) 🎶

💡 Master the light, you will have to

Light regulates and disrupts the rhythm of sleep . In general, avoid strong light in the evening (Avoid screens before going to bed!) and spend time outdoors early in the morning to reset your circadian rhythm. If there's only one rule to remember , it's this one.

⌚ Constant and regular, you will be

Even with a busy life, it is better to keep regular habits for our nights.

🥵 The temperature, you will control

Unless you have mastered the age-old art of getting your leg out of the sheets (or not), your body temperature drops during sleep, and you have to help your body with that.

🤸‍♂️ Your body, you will maintain

Sport is good for your health, and for your sleep!

🍜 To eat well you will make sure

Gone is the greasy burger and fries at dinner.

🍻 To the dark side, don't go you have to (we couldn't find a better way to say: " less alcohol ").

... and more water. Alcohol is a false friend that makes it easier to fall asleep but completely disrupts your sleep.

🚫 The coffee after the siesta, you will ban

The power of caffeine, this molecule that remains (too) long in our body and influences sleep. For good quality sleep, avoid well before nightfall.

💑 The disturbances of your partner, you will reduce

To better recover, we must think of each other by limiting involuntary nocturnal interactions. For cat owners, nothing to do is too late, they already rule the world.

🧘‍♀️ Anxiety and stress lead to the dark side

With methods that reduce anxiety, sleep is much, much better.

#end of music. Who hasn't imitated Master Yoda's voice while reading these tips? < >

For an even deeper and more restorative sleep: All the solutions

Young man sleeping soundly on his side on a white cushion

Now that you've mastered the basics, let's take performance a step further. Because no, it is not necessarily useful to increase your sleep time because that is called hibernation. An adult generally only needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep on average (for some it's + for others it's less).

🧘‍♀️🧘‍♂️ Meditation and Guided Meditation

To try it is to adopt it. No need to go to Nepal and shave your head, there are a multitude of ways to meditate , and it is scientifically proven, it works!

You can install a dedicated application (we like headspace here) , or simply use Youtube. This requires a short use of the mobile phone, but you will not stay in front of the screen (and the blue light), you will have to put it down once the application is launched.

Guided meditation is accessible to beginners.

What's great is that the effects are physiological: it helps lower blood pressure, slows heart rate, promotes the production of serotonin and melatonin. Everything you need to have a deep sleep, therefore a restful sleep.

So what to do?

👉 First, prepare the ground : Low light, cozy atmosphere, good temperature, no outside disturbances, phone in airplane mode. Use comfortable headphones to enter your calm bubble.

👉 Then get ready . Short visit to the bathroom, comfortable clothes, bedtime routine, and we lie down on or in the bed.

👉 Launch the application , and let yourself be guided.

You feel yourself leaving, so much the better! and it's absolutely okay if you have to open your eyes to take off the headphones and turn off the app. You have calmed your organism and your mind, enjoy the results, all that remains is to sleep well.

Little trick in case of nocturnal awakening: a cardiac coherence exercise.

We put ourselves in a resting position and refocus on our breathing. Inhale for 5 seconds (counting in your head), then exhale for 5 seconds, slowly, completely. To practice at least one minute, 3 minutes to feel more relaxed.

There are several variations, you can count 7 seconds... hold your breath for a few seconds... then blow. Do this activity as needed.

🥱 Self-hypnosis

😵 Your eyelids are heavy... hey no, that's not exactly hypnosis ...

We all think of those shows where the subject takes himself for a gorilla on stage, it is indeed a form of hypnotic state, but that is not what interests us here.

👉 Do you see this short moment, when you are going to fall asleep, very calm, but you are still a little aware, not quite gone? That's it ! A state of drowsiness and a progressive change in the state of consciousness , to sum up.

Seeing a hypnotherapist can be helpful in dealing with stress and anxiety , one of the primary causes of sleep disturbances. A few sessions are sometimes enough to find a deep sleep, to reap all the benefits. And that's the science talking!

🧘 ♀️ But you can also practice alone, with some easy exercises . Because yes, it is possible to reach a hypnotic state alone, without "gift" and without knowledge of hypnosis techniques. After a few "self"-sessions, the quality of your sleep should be better.

🎼 Music - Binaural sound

Music has a real influence on us. So try to fall asleep after a metal concert, or after a night out at the disco... It's hard. Have you ever felt that little boost that our favorite music gives us when we're not feeling well?

A 2006 study shows that high-paced music does increase heart rate and breathing!

But we will not go into the field of science to talk to you about binaural sound, because there are not enough studies. If we tell you about it, it's because the music will help you relax and soothe you, and this feeling only brings benefits. The binaural sounds you find on the internet are thematic: for concentration, for studying... or for falling asleep.

The hypothesis is that the brain emits waves:

  • delta waves (0.5 to 4 Hz) indicate a state of slow and deep sleep

  • theta waves (4 to 7 Hz) are the waves of deep relaxation in full awakening

  • alpha waves (8 to 13 Hz) are those of mild relaxation and quiet wakefulness

  • beta waves ( 14 Hz and above) are those of common activities

  • gamma waves (more than 30 or 35 Hz) show great brain activity

🔧 How does it work? Each earbud sounds slightly different. In the center, your brain mixes. This results in a "beat" that is clocked on the brain waves. Aim for binaural music for calm and sleep, with a 4Hz frequency that will trick your brain into syncing.

So, let yourself be tempted by this solution to have quality sleep by choosing the music that will have the most effect on you.

👵🌿 Grandma's recipes

For all gamers who have chosen the "druid" class, all sorcerer's apprentices at Hogwarts, and even muggles, here is a small selection.

Chamomile

👉 Chamomile is one of the best known plants for its virtues on sleep. It has sedative properties and has been proven effective in calming nervous restlessness that interferes with sleep. It can even be used in weaning off benzodiazepines, a component of sleeping pills!

Our advice for sleeping well : in infusion or drops, in the evening one hour before bedtime. you can mix essences amongRoman chamomile, Tanacetum or Matricaria .

Valerian

👉 Valerian . We're not talking about your cousin up north. This herb lowers blood pressure , slows heart rate , and decreases nervous restlessness , anxiety , and related sleep disturbances. In short, it promotes falling asleep.

“Valerian decreases the time it takes to fall asleep, increases periods of deep sleep and reduces nocturnal awakenings” (Dr Laurent Chevallier, from the nutrition center at Montpellier University Hospital).

Our advice for your nervous system: As an infusion in the evening, or why not in the bath: boil 100g of dried roots in 2 liters of water, leave to infuse for 10 minutes, filter and pour into the bath water.

Attention, may be contraindicated in pregnant women, breastfeeding women or children under 15 years of age.

Passionflower

👉 Passionflower , which is not a pokemon, contains molecules that act against stress and hyperexcitement . This plant is anxiolytic , tranquilizer and sedative . It would have the property of restoring restful sleep by eliminating nervousness and anxiety.

Our advice for a good rest : immerse a teaspoon of passionflower flowers in a cup of boiling water, let steep for three minutes before consumption.

The Eschecholtzia

👉 With virtues limiting nocturnal awakenings, L' Eschecholtzia (hard to pronounce, is otherwise called "California poppy"). It is a powerful anxiolytic plant. It promotes falling asleep , helps reduce nocturnal awakenings and prolongs sleep time.

Our recommendation against insomnia : infuse 1 tablespoon of dried plant in ¼ liter of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes.

Hop

👉 Hops. We see you coming, but no, the prescription isn't in the form of fermented bubbly liquid. Hops reduce the time of falling asleep and allow you to plunge into a restful sleep. Its medicinal use dates back to the 10th century.

Our tip for a deep sleep : Immerse 10 to 15g of dried cones in boiling water for 10 minutes.

A little extra?

Tastes and colors are indisputable. Perhaps you would like to add a little orange blossom, red fruits, verbena, lime blossom: no problem! Do not hesitate to compose several plants in the same infusion.

🚨 Warning

Do not underestimate the power of concoctions, to be consumed without excess because the active substances are very real, with a real effect on our body and our mood.

👉 By the way, as a bonus, other interesting foods for a deep and restorative sleep: Banana, Mango, dates... Kiwis! (according to a study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2 kiwis every night promotes good sleep) .

But also any product that contains tryptophan : brown rice, dairy products, eggs, meat, fish, nuts, dark chocolate... This molecule participates in the synthesis of serotonin (happiness hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone). ). how to sleep well!

The final word

Your sleep time does not exceed 30 min? Do you only wake up once a night and no more? If you wake up at night, do you fall back asleep in less than 20 minutes? But above all, do you feel better?

You are there! You have improved the quality of your sleep and you know all the techniques to sleep well.

The next day, don't forget not to wake up with a bang from Metallica*, for another smooth day, and everything will be fine (*Nothing else matters accepted).

June 20, 2023
Tags: Sommeil

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