Relax and switch off regularly
Deliberate and regular relaxation can balance out severe and sustained nervous strain. Special relaxation techniques like autogenic training, yoga or progressive muscle relaxation have proven to be very effective. These are best learnt under professional guidance.
Do regular exercise
Endurance exercise is very well suited to reducing stress. Of particular benefit are hiking, swimming, jogging and cycling, since they take place out in the fresh air. Taking an evening walk can also help process the problems of the day.
Do without an afternoon nap
If you sleep during the day, you need less sleep at night. If you want to fulfil your need to sleep at night, you should stop having an afternoon nap. Older people in particular should take this to heart, since the need for sleep diminishes as they grow older.
Avoid large meals later in the evening
The digestive activity of the stomach at night can hinder sleep. So the last meal should be eaten at least three hours before going to bed. You should entirely dispense with eating hard-to-digest foods late at night.
Choose a good-quality mattress
It is an absolute must that your bed and bedding make you feel comfortable. The quality of the mattress is the most important factor. There is no patent formula as to how hard or soft a mattress should be – it hinges on your personal needs.
Stimuli (noise, light) from your surroundings can rob you of your sleep. So your bedroom should be quiet and able to be darkened. If this isn’t the case, for instance on holiday, special sleep masks and earplugs can help.
Drink alcohol only in moderation
Alcohol is a poor sleeping aid, even if large amounts of it seem to make you feel tired. Alcohol interferes with the quality of sleep, leads to nightmares and thus significantly diminishes the recuperative effect of sleep.
Avoid stimulating drinks
Coffee, cola and black tea are stimulants. They should only be drunk up to early afternoon, since their stimulating effect lasts for a long time and starkly inhibits your ability to fall asleep.
Allow the day to finish calmly
As far as possible, aim to go to sleep at the same time every day. Often it helps to have a daily bedtime ritual, for instance having a relaxing bath, doing a brief relaxation exercise, reading for a while or listening to calming music.
Try natural sleep remedies
Various medicinal plants have proven useful for centuries in the treatment of restlessness and nervous sleep disorders. One of the most important substances for the self-treatment of sleep disorders is the herbal ingredient valerian. Herbal preparations are mild in effect, very well tolerated and (after consulting with your doctor) can also be used for symptoms lasting over a longer period of time.
The causes can vary::