Here in France at least, one in five people suffers from insomnia and 61% of the population sleeps badly. Whether through sleep deprivation, restless nights or nights that are too short, put a stop to that exhaustion thanks to our survival guide!
1- Walking is man’s best medicine
A 15-minute walk to let your meal go down, while you walk the dog or take a breather from the office, promotes lower blood sugar. If you’re not the sporty type at all it’s a good way to get regular exercise, which is known to promote sleep. The best thing to do is put your trainers on and take a brisk walk. In the evening, after a long day at work, it works just as well.
2- Read before going to sleep
An actual book… It’s not about staring at your phone.
Reading a good book in bed – far removed from the blue light emitted by screens – promotes falling and staying asleep. Maybe it’s the latest one from Houellebecq, or a book on a subject that you are invested in, like Good bye Fatigue ! L’art de ne plus subir sa fatigue et celle des autres [Goodbye Tiredness! The art of no longer taking your tiredness and that of other people lying down] by Léonard Anthony (published by Editions Overjoy) (available in French only) or Je suis épuisé.e! Anxiété, surmenage, burn-out: le guide pour reprendre le contrôle [I’m exhausted! Anxiety, overwork, burnout: the guide to taking back control] by Cathy Assenheim (published by Deboeeck Supérieur) (available in French only).
3- Go to bed at the right time
Sore eyes, and that numb feeling… The sandman is close by. It’s very important to recognise the signs that precede falling sleep so that you don’t miss your sleep slot and thus don’t have to wait several hours for the next one. Another factor for poor sleepers to look at is the lunar calendar. Because some people are particularly sensitive to moon phases. Sleep can be disturbed by the full moon and also the new moon (full of energy). Being aware of that allows you to put your sleep problems “into perspective” and find the workaround that suits you best. For example, get up and read/meditate/drink a glass of water in peace and quiet, instead of tossing and turning in bed.
4- Position your bed correctly
According to Feng Shui, the position of the head end of the bed is of utmost importance. So if you have sleep problems, it’s best to enlist a Feng Shui expert who will help you position your bed correctly. In the meantime, avoid creating an atmosphere that’s too much on the yang side (vibrant colours, or the home office encroaching on the bedroom) as much as possible. In addition, avoid placing the head end of the bed as follows: under a window; where Qi flows between the door and window; and against a wall backing onto a bathroom.
5- Give high tensions a wide berth
Between daytime activities (action) and night-time activities (rest), arrange for a halfway house, a transitional phase between one mode and the other. You can, for example, take a lukewarm shower before changing into your sleepwear, or listen to a podcast in peace and quiet while sipping an infusion. Avoid alcohol, which is a stimulant and false friend when it comes to sleep. It can “help” you fall asleep… But be aware that you may find yourself waking in the night. Basically, anything calming can help. Be aware that arguing with your spouse or family can keep you from sleeping afterwards. If you’re a bit of a worrier, go ahead and write down your “to do list” for the following day to avoid dwelling on it (“I’ve got to do that”, “Whatever you do, don’t forget to…”. If tensions have run high one evening, go ahead and dial them down, with guided meditation, for example. We recommend Cédric Michel’s YouTube videos.
6- Make love
We don’t mean getting it on every night, necessarily, but very well-regarded studies have proven that there is a link between sex and a good night’s sleep. How come? Not least thanks to the endorphins released. Plus, orgasm (solo or as a couple) has a very calming (or even soporific) effect, thanks to the oxytocin released (which has stress-busting and anti-anxiety effects).