Wake up rested: this is how you do it

15 March 2024


A good night’s sleep is a must for your health. Yet 44% of Dutch people say they have trouble sleeping. Why is sleep so important and what can you do to improve the quality of your sleep?

Sleeping for 25 years

On average, we sleep a third of our lives. And that’s a good thing, because sleeping is extremely important. During your sleep, your body recovers from your daily activities and you process the experiences of the day. Your hormones balance out again, your muscles relax and you build up new defences. Not sleeping enough can be bad for your health, as sleep deprivation is more likely to cause obesity, cardiovascular disease and even Alzheimer’s.  

Mental resilience

The benefits of sleeping well do not just relate to your physical health, but also to your mental well-being. Sleeping well helps you to retain information better, increases your problem-solving skills and makes you more creative. Moreover, after a good night’s sleep, you are less irritable, you have better control of your emotions and you feel less anxious or sad. 

In other words, sleeping well is pretty important. Sleep experts therefore recommend that adults sleep between 7 and 9 hours per night. The Netherlands does quite well in this regard, as we sleep on average about 7.5 hours a night.

Quality of sleep counts

However, we are all still tired on a regular basis. This is mainly due to the fact that while we sleep long enough, our quality of sleep has decreased more and more in recent years. Sitting still during the day, drinking lots of coffee and using computers or smartphones all affect the quality of our sleep. Fortunately, you can influence this to a large extent. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Have a fixed sleep schedule: Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day – including on the weekend. This helps regulate your biological clock, making you sleep deeper and longer. 

Develop a bedtime ritual: Take a hot shower, read a book or listen to soothing music. These kinds of relaxing rituals around bedtime signal your body that it is time to relax.

Turn off all screens: The blue light of electronic devices suppresses the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep. Try to turn off all screens at least an hour before bedtime. Difficult, but oh so effective.

Keep your bedroom calm: Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and cool. Opt for blackout curtains, use earplugs, and (if possible) crack the window open a tiny bit to let in some fresh air. A proper sleeping environment contributes enormously to the quality of your sleep.

Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake: Drinking caffeinated drinks disrupts your natural sleep rhythm. Alcohol also makes you sleep much less deeply. You should therefore avoid caffeine and alcohol starting from three hours before bedtime. 

Exercise more: Exercising sufficiently during the day helps you to fall asleep better in the evening. But be careful: do not exercise late at night. When exercising, your body produces adrenaline and that will just keep you awake.

By making sleep a priority and, for example, developing a soothing sleep routine, you can improve the quality of your sleep. Give it a try and chances are you will wake up a lot more rested!

How financially fit are you?
Besides a healthy life, you want a healthy pension. By staying aware of the pension market and react to it in a flexible way, we keep your pension in top condition. Do you already have a pension scheme with BeFrank? Then you can see how your pension is doing on your Personal Pension page. Here you will also find the most important updates. Do you not have a pension scheme with BeFrank yet? Ask your employer about the possibilities.