How to sleep better – advice from sleep researchers

in it National Public Health Survey 42 percent reported having had trouble sleeping in the past year. Not getting enough sleep has a big impact on how well your body works.

Caffeine does work – but only for a certain period of time

SVT Vetenskap asked Swedish sleep researchers their main tips for a good sleep. According to Annika Norell Clarke, a sleep researcher at Karlstad University, clear contrasts should be created between day and night.

Make sure you get daylight early in the day, preferably caffeine in the morning, as this will help you recover. Stimulants like coffee and nicotine should be used with caution later in the day. A few hours before bedtime, the lights should be dimmed and quieter activities chosen to reduce the warm-up level.

The biggest concern for sleep disturbance

Annika Norell Clarke notes that it is important to think about things during the day, to avoid a rush of thoughts when you go to bed.

There has to be plenty of time before bedtime to actually plan, think and worry, so that bedtime isn’t the only moment you think about life.

Sleep researcher Torbjörn Åkerstedt, a professor of psychology at Karolinska Institutet, also highlights anxiety as a problem factor.

The biggest disruption to sleep in general is anxiety for tomorrow. This epidemic is making many people anxious about the disease. Following advice can reduce anxiety. You can also worry about not being able to meet loved ones, which may be easier with close contact over the phone and the Internet.

Physical activity is an important factor

Exercise raises both researchers as an advice for better sleep. Annika Norell Clarke says physical activity shortens bedtime and makes deep sleep longer.

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Exercise no earlier than two hours before bedtime because it has a short-term stimulating effect, says Anika Norell Clark.

Be restricted about sleeping during the day

Torbjörn Åkerstedt suggests that the room you sleep in should be quiet, dark and cool. One must be restricted in how and when one chooses to take a nap, as it can reduce the need to sleep before bed at night.

It leads to longer sleep time, more wakefulness, less deep sleep and shorter sleep overall, says Torbjörn Åkerstedt.

Want to learn more about sleep and how we can influence it? We see Science world: “Finding Good Sleep” on Monday March 22 at 20.00 on SVT2 or now on SVT Play.

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