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Sleep is very important in our lives and control our productivity. 95% of the population experience at some time in their life a period of insomnia and sleep therefore not good. In the previous article on sleep, we have written about the individual and society’s ignorance to a public health disaster caused by too little sleep.  In this article, we talk about sleep, sleep problems and sleep better. We help you with valuable tips on how you can take control of your sleep and direct it toward the direction that you feel best.

Why do we sleep?

We sleep for recovery. The brain, the body and the muscles are resting. This affects our immune system, endocrine system and the nervous system.


We have a biological rhythm to be followed which includes sleep. The circadian rhythm is controlled by light and activity level. In the body there are two hormones that control our sleep called melatonin and cortisol. We have high levels of cortisol, we have trouble sleeping and it’s melatonin makes us sleepy. Raising the level of melatonin makes us sleepy takes a few hours. Do we have too much light of the television, computer and smart phones make it that we find it harder to fall asleep.

need for sleep

Average requirement is approximately 7.5 hours (but it ranges from 5 to 9 hours).


For you to have the right conditions for sleep, you need to deactivate yourself, both physiologically and psychologically. Try to avoid train intensively before bedtime. And unwind psychologically by not thinking too much about the events of that job.

Stages of sleep

We have two different types of sleep stages called deep sleep and REM sleep. Deep sleep is recovery and REM sleep is dream sleep, when we dream. We also awakenings 5-15 times per night.

Sleeping problems

cat sleeps

Sleep quality varies from person over time. 95% of the population experience at some time in their life a period of insomnia. Approximately 10% of the population meets the diagnosis of insomnia and feel that disturbed sleep has become an obstacle in life. Insomnia means you feel sleepy but can not sleep. Approximately one third of the population suffers from sleep disturbance and.

Sleep problems usually arise from stressful life events, and there are different sleep diagnoses as primary insomnia, primary hypersomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, circadian rhythm (jet lag, shift work), and sleep disturbance due to mental disorder, illness or substance-induced sleep disorder.

What affects your sleep?

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Stress, mood and pain
  • Smoking and alcohol intake
  • Sleep environment
  • Sleep-related behaviors

Our feelings, thoughts, body and behavior affect our sleep and the four factors are interdependent.

  • Emotions: Agitation, anxiety, and irritability.
  • Thoughts: “I have to sleep eight hours” and “A bad night destroying the entire day.”
  • Body: High pulse, tense and breathing.
  • Behavior: Irregular bedtimes, is long in bed and fast pace during the day.

What can we do to sleep better?

1. Help circadian rhythm

Try to maintain a balance between activity / rest and light / dark. Take it easy and rest before bedtime. Have a dull glow in the room before you go. Read a book instead of checking into a bright TV screen.

Are you night owl or morning lark?

Are you night owl, try to get up early in the morning so you get tired in the evening to bed earlier. Are you tired in the morning, you can also try a round in the morning to wake up to. The morning lark, it is good to try to sleep early so that you can sleep your necessary hours.

2. Sleep Hygiene

Your surroundings and the body is important to get a good sleep as possible. Temperature, light and sound do much. A cool bedroom always works best to sleep with. Usually sleep most of the best in a calm and quiet environment. There is music that makes you sleep better, rippling water, etc. Search on YouTube to find the best music that makes you sleep best. Luckily there are blinds. With the blinds, we can turn out the light in the summer when it is brightest and sleep better.

Diet, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine

Everything you consume affects your sleep. Having a varied diet is important for the body to feel good. Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine is not good for the body. With alcohol, you can fall asleep faster, but then you wake up after three hours and can not sleep again. Caffeine can be helpful to a certain limit. It is best if you drink coffee in the morning but not later than 16.00 on the day. Are you a stressed person, we recommend tea. Caffeine can cause the heart rate increases even more, and it can feel uncomfortable.

Physical activity

Physical activity is always good for sleep. We all have a portion of energy per day. Do you put much energy into training you fall asleep properly at night. It is best to exercise in the morning before work. Then clear the brain before the job’s challenges. If you train late at night can cause you’re too energetic before going to bed, your body does not have time to unwind before bedtime. Try to avoid it.

3. Scheduled sleep

Many people with sleep problems spend much time in bed but sleep little and bad. This is not good because then you relate bed to sleep problems and not sleeping. Therefore, try to schedule your sleep for a control over how you spend your time in bed. Get routines so that your body get used to it and understand what to do when you lie in bed. Have the ascent each day, including weekends. It is important to control and that you relate bed to sleep and do not worry at specific times.

Rules for Better Sleep

Below we list a number of rules that makes you sleep better. Does it feel overwhelming with all the rules, you can always test with a rule and continue with the other gradually.

# 1. Following the principle of simultaneity, that is, the principle of conditioning. Why is the party smoker crave cigarette in the pub? Why is the with dog phobia scared at the sight of a dog? We can condition the bed of anxiety and alertness. Therefore, use only the bed for sleep and sex and nothing else

# 2. Establish a sleep routine that preparatory stimulus for sleep. Try to have an hour before bedtime for a period to unwind.

# 3. Just go to bed when you are sleepy. If you have not fallen asleep in 20 minutes. Repeat your sleep preparatory routine and try to sleep again. Repeat several times if necessary.

# 4 Get up the same time every morning. Plan a regular activity in the morning to help you with this. Go for a walk in 20 minutes, for example.

# 5 No naps during the day. It can make you more difficult to sleep at night instead. Do you need a rest, you can sleep a maximum of 30 minutes. It may be good for the heart also sleep a little “powernap”. But you will have trouble sleeping, we recommend not to take naps during the day.

What is your morning routine like?

Print this morning routine and have it as an example to go by.

morning routine, how does your morning routine like?

4. Sleep Restriction

Sleep Restriction is about reducing their sleep window to the time you really sleep and by sömndeprivering “teach” the body to sleep soundly again. The goal is to get a sleep efficiency of over 85%. Figure out their sleep efficiency is done by dividing the time in bed by the time I slept.

Time I slept / time in bed = sleep efficiency

To make it easier to get into a good routine, you can begin to fill in a sleep diary for a week. Calculate your sleep efficiency for the week. If it turns out that you slept an average of six hours a week, then it’s the time you should be in bed. 6 hours, then your sleep window. The challenge here will be to stay awake at night how tired you are, or go up in time morning- even on the weekend.

For each completed week will be put on the fourth of sleep window, that is, add the quarter before. Keep it to sleep efficiency is close to or above 85%.

To think of

Here are a few things to consider when performing sleep restriction.

  • The method is tough but also proved effective.
  • The first week is the hardest
  • If you have pain, some pain increases occur in early
  • Reduce no time in bed to less than 5 hours
  • Avoid changing ascent in the morning

5. Write a “to-do” list

One of the problems that we toss and turn in bed, all the things that stress us for tomorrow. Most let the things left undone and need to be made to rotate around the head. A tip if you have many thoughts about tomorrow and things to do that stresses you is to write down a “to-do” list. Write a to-do list “to increase the chances of a good night’s sleep. Writing down the things needed ticked off for tomorrow calms the brain significantly. That’s because one of the main reasons for insomnia are very worried about the day to come, and everything has to be done.

According to scientists, it is not enough to write a diary. You must write your “to-do” list. Writing what you’ve been through is not enough, and do not have the same effect as researchers in a new study. The subjects were asked to list the things that they had already made did not give the same effect. To write a “to-do” list is an aid to sleep better and are published by the Journal of Experimental Psychology.


Psychological and physiological deactivation

progressive relaxation

  • Tighten up and try to relax, feel the difference
  • Drawing attention to the relaxation of such meditation.


  • Inhale
    , hold the
    breathe out, think “relax”
  • There are also yoga that helps with breathing exercises.

Sleep medicine

What are the benefits?

  • Fast help
  • Easy to use, helps good against insomnia for short-term use

What are the disadvantages?

  • Less deep sleep, rather than more shallow sleep
  • Does not improve the quality of sleep, but makes it easier to fall asleep
  • Side effects: drowsiness, dry mouth and dizziness with much more
  • Withdrawal Appeals
  • Health risks: dependency, risks of contraindications and more.
  • Cost money
  • Long-term effects are unknown. Since sleep medicine is supposed to use a short time, has not done research on the long-term effects.

Summary of the tips

1. Help circadian

  • Daylight and physical activity
  • Create a bedtime routine

2. Sleep Hygiene

  • Quiet, cool and dark. Eat and drink well. Train not too late.

3. stimulus control

  • Use the bed only for sleeping.

4. Sleep Restriction

  • Limit time in bed.
  • Regular hours.

5. Write a “to-do” list

  • Write what to do for tomorrow.

Test and evaluate all the tips.