Nine tips for falling asleep

Falling asleep is often easier said than done. You lie in bed at night and your thoughts spin endlessly. Sleep robbers are usually stress and worries, but also certain foods. At the same time, other foods – e.g. Foods containing tryptophan, for example, help you fall asleep. We’ve got natural tips for falling asleep so you can rock yourself back into a restful slumber in no time.

Sleep disorders prevent you from falling asleep

Insomnia often doesn’t even manifest itself in the fact that you can’t sleep at all. Some people fall asleep quickly, only to wake up after two or three hours and then just not be able to go back to sleep.

Others cannot fall asleep at all and only do so after two or three hours.

Still others are basically asleep. However, their sleep is not restful, so that these people also wake up every morning feeling exhausted and have to set off on their way to everyday life completely unrested.

Tips on falling asleep or staying asleep are therefore highly sought after by many people and are also urgently needed for their health.

But what actually prevents you from falling asleep?

Stress often prevents you from falling asleep

If sleep is essential to life, how is it that almost one in two people struggle with insomnia? Why doesn’t the body eventually get its much-needed sleep? Why do sleep disorders so often become chronic?

The causes of insomnia are often stress, worry and work (or school) pressure to perform.

The high levels of stress hormones make the body think it is in danger. That’s why sleep is the last thing you should allow yourself during stressful times – at least from the body’s point of view.

In addition to stress, however, there are also numerous factors that can lead to sleep disorders or worsen them, but we do not even know that they have a sleep-disturbing effect.

This in turn means that we may regularly force ourselves to eat or submit to old habits with which we cause a large part of our sleep disorders ourselves.

With our nine tips for falling asleep, you may get to know new aspects that – completely without your knowledge – could have contributed to your sleep disorders.

Nine tips for falling asleep

Before you start looking for a sleeping pill, which carries the long-term risk of drug dependency and a number of not-so-nice side effects, and which may provide sleep but hardly the hoped-for morning rest, it would be much better if you looked at our tips for falling asleep and review your diet and lifestyle habits.

You then deliberately avoid those with a sleep-depriving effect, while at the same time giving preference to others that promote your sleep in a completely natural way.

We explain about secret wake keepers and natural tranquilizers and hope that you will find the right sleep trick for you among our tips for falling asleep.

1. Tip for falling asleep: avoid red wine

The first tip for falling asleep is something you shouldn’t do if you have trouble sleeping, but a lot of people do it, under the mistaken belief that it’ll give them a great night’s sleep.

It’s about the evening bottle of red wine. Red wine in the evening stimulates circulation and activates the organism. Although you fall asleep faster with red wine, you do not experience regenerative sleep with it.

Drinking wine at night lowers blood sugar levels. And then the stress hormone adrenaline is released, so that you wake up at night after excessive alcohol consumption or do not sink into the so-important, restful deep sleep phase. The sleeping rhythm is disturbed and you feel anything but fit and fresh the next morning.

The sleeping tip of drinking a glass of red wine is therefore not really suitable if you want to wake up refreshed and energetic in the morning.

2. Tip for falling asleep: don’t use ginger if you have trouble sleeping

There are many medicinal plants that are great tips for falling asleep and staying asleep easily, such as: valerian, passion flower, lavender or hop blossoms.

Ginger, however, is not one of them and should rather be avoided right before bed. The spicy bulb has been shown to stimulate the secretion of digestive juices and intestinal motility. Ginger is also a natural diuretic, so it has a diuretic effect.

That may be a nice effect during the day. However, if you have to go to the toilet more often at night, it does not promote a deep sleep.

Other natural diuretics that should not be consumed late at night – at least not in large amounts – include parsley juice, nettle tea, watermelon and cranberries, and even fruit salads.

3. Tip for falling asleep: Small supper

This tip for falling asleep is one of the most important sleep tips. Hardly anything disturbs a restful night’s sleep more than a sumptuous dinner.

Anyone who eats too much or too much fat in the evening demands maximum performance from their digestive tract. After a voluminous, fatty or spicy evening meal, you should stay awake for at least 2 to 3 hours before lying down.

However, that does not mean that you should eat something from the chip shop at 11 p.m. and then laboriously stay awake until 2 a.m. Rather, you should eat dinner – ideally something healthy – no later than around 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and move comfortably towards the bedroom between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

You will see that falling asleep with only a moderately full stomach is almost child’s play.

4. Tips for falling asleep: Better no gluten

Anyone who has already tried a lot to be able to fall asleep better and still has sleeping problems could also suffer from gluten intolerance.

Even if there is still a lack of clear scientific evidence on gluten-related sleep disorders, many of those affected agree: Gluten can lead to sleep disorders and make it difficult to fall asleep.

People with gluten sensitivity often report problems falling asleep, frequent awakenings, poor quality sleep and nightmares if they have accidentally or exceptionally eaten a meal with gluten during the day.

However, if these people stick to their gluten-free diet, they enjoy healthy and restful sleep.

So if you personally suffer from insomnia and haven’t found the cause yet, it might not be a bad idea to go gluten-free for six weeks and see how your sleep is doing.

Maybe it’s this sleeping tip you’ve been waiting for.

5. Tip for falling asleep: foods containing L-tryptophan

Foods containing L-tryptophan that can help you fall asleep are foods that contain a particularly large amount of L-tryptophan (an amino acid) and at the same time contain as few other amino acids as possible.

L-tryptophan is used in the human brain to produce serotonin, our happiness hormone. Serotonin also regulates the sleep-wake cycle, curbs appetite, and boosts mood ( 2 ).

A high serotonin level is therefore synonymous with relaxation and serenity – and consequently with good sleep.

A lack of L-tryptophan and thus of serotonin, on the other hand, can make you nervous, anxious or even depressed. However, a nervous, anxious or even depressed person often has problems falling asleep or staying asleep.

An important tip for falling asleep and in the case of insomnia is therefore to select foods containing tryptophan and to eat them more often. However, it is not enough to simply eat or drink foods containing tryptophan, as there is a catch.

Tryptophan needs to get to the brain alone, so it can be used to make the calming serotonin. However, if foods containing tryptophan, e.g. Meat or milk products, for example, which contain quite considerable amounts of tryptophan, but also many other amino acids, there is competition as all want to travel to the brain.

Therefore, it would make more sense to choose foods that are rich in tryptophan and do not contain so many other amino acids.

Such foods containing tryptophan would be, for example, oats or cashew nuts. However, not everyone can tolerate a bowl of oatmeal or a handful of cashew nuts as a bedtime treat.

An alternative is cocoa. Its tryptophan content is as high as that of oats. In addition, cocoa contains substances that can apparently lower blood pressure. It is well known that high blood pressure makes it difficult to sleep. So cocoa has at least a double sleep-promoting effect. On the one hand due to its high tryptophan content, and on the other hand, due to its antihypertensive effect.

So what do you think of a nightcap in the form of hot (or in summer) cold chocolate? Instead of cow’s milk, of course, use cashew milk or almond milk (almonds are also tryptophan-containing foods and provide good tryptophan levels and less of the other competing amino acids).

For cashew milk, simply use the almond milk recipe and replace the almond butter with cashew butter. Now mix a spoonful of pure, i.e. unsweetened, cocoa into your plant-based milk and enjoy your relaxing night drink ( 5 ).

An alternative is tryptophan-rich dietary supplements that can help to increase serotonin levels and thus improve sleep.

6. Tip for falling asleep: Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is also called sleeping berry. It is a medicinal plant that is widely used in Ayurveda – namely the leaves and the root of the plant, not the berry as one might think. Ashwagandha has a sleep-inducing, calming and anxiolytic effect. It lowers the level of stress hormones and makes you more resistant to stress. In the link above, we present various studies that show how well ashwagandha can also improve sleep quality. And here you can read how to prepare a delicious sleeping potion with Ashwagandha.

7. Tip for falling asleep: melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland, which, like serotonin, is also significantly involved in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. It has a soporific and calming effect. Consequently, a lack of melatonin can lead to serious problems falling asleep ( 4 ).

However, scientists have now found that both raspberries and tart cherries can significantly increase melatonin levels, which is why they – e.g. in the form of a small glass of the appropriate juice – represent a good tip for falling asleep ( 3 ).

However, you should not have already filled your stomach beforehand, otherwise, you could get heartburn or other digestive problems, which would prevent you from falling asleep and staying asleep again.

8. Tip for falling asleep: switch off electrosmog

Electrosmog in the sleeping area is not a good prerequisite for falling asleep.

The endocrine glands, e.g. the pineal gland, which is known to produce the sleep-inducing melatonin.

Therefore, switch off WLAN and DECT telephones at least at night and only use an external microphone and headphones to make mobile calls. As a further protection, you can switch off the fuses for the sleeping area at night.

In larger cities with numerous radio antennas, the sleeping area could also be shielded by a Faraday cage in the form of a net made of silver threads in the case of pronounced sleep disorders. The net is attached like a mosquito net and of course not only shields against electrosmog but also against mosquitoes in summer.

9. Tip for falling asleep: magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most important tips for falling asleep. Magnesium reduces the excitability of muscles and nerves and has a wonderfully relaxing effect.

Muscle cramps at night or restless legs are often a sign of magnesium deficiency. You should check your magnesium supply and optimize it if necessary, at the latest when you too are being woken up by muscle cramps at night.

If your organism is fully supplied with natural magnesium, your muscles will remain relaxed and your sleep will be deep and restful. Insomnia is forgotten.

Information on the holistic supply of magnesium through nutrition or with natural food supplements can be found here: Magnesium deficiency and here: Eliminate magnesium deficiency with nutrition

We wish you restful sleep and pleasant dreams at all times.

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