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6 great tips for a good night sleep!

A bad night’s rest can have a number of causes. Are you someone who needs absolute silence, or do you actually find the sound of your fan or air conditioning unit calming? There is nothing wrong with a power nap if you do it in a certain way. It’s no news that you even burn calories while sleeping. Sleeping responsibly is the foundation of a flat belly, a healthy skin and getting through the day with a fresh look. From climate to bedroom comfort, I will tell you how to sleep better.

Girl dreaming

Sleeping better with a pill?

Melatonin can be bought without a prescription in the Netherlands. “Sleeping pills” like that can help, as long as you dose them in the right amounts, and especially as long as you take them at the right points in time. That’s not on the insert and should be determined individually. For people who are dealing with multiple time zones or night shifts, it can be recommended to take some melatonin half an hour before going to bed.

Of course, there’s a few things to keep in mind. This is guaranteed to make you sleep better:


A heavy meal. Try not to eat any meals heavy on carbohydrates later than 3 hours before going to sleep. Why? Your intestines will become active while your body is actually supposed to take a break for a little while. It’s best to not eat anything heavy or fatty within 3 hours before going to bed. Do you sometimes taste stomach acid? That’s probably the kebab you just ate. Eat your döner in the morning after you wake up.


Phone, lightning and action! Never put your smartphone under your pillow. If you get any notifications, they won’t need to be answered right away. Furthermore, the screen of your phone or tablet emits blue light, which disrupts the production of a special sleep inducing hormone. In my experience it helps to gradually lower the amount of light in the house before going to sleep. Set the brightness of your screens lower after a certain time as well. If you want to sleep at 11, you’ll want to turn everything off at 9.


Too cold. Sleeping in a cold or very stuffy space is difficult. Use more sheets if you want to open a window. The best temperature for your bedroom is between 12 and 24 degrees Celsius. If your room’s temperature stays between these two values, it will also be good for your metabolism.


Dark or light? I am a very light sleeper, so if I stay the night somewhere I always bring my eyeshade with me. For sleeping in your own room, putting blackout curtains in front of your windows is the nicest option. Make sure you’re in an environment you are familiar with and where you cannot be interrupted. Darkness brings your body into the proper mood.


Confusing times. I have tried a variety of things, but what undeniably works very well for me is a fixed rhythm. That means that I go to bed roughly at the same time every day, at least on weekdays. Because of my parttime job and going out I always change things up for the weekend. How do I still sleep well? Staying up late every once in a while is not a big deal, but avoid taking long naps after 16:00. That will only confuse your sleeping rhythm. Your body knows when you’re supposed to be asleep and when you’re supposed to be awake. If you have a normal sleeping rhythm and you are in a quiet, dark space, your brain produces the hormone melatonin. This makes you sleepy. During daytime melatonin is broken down by light, which makes you wake up from the realm of dreams. Someone with very irregular bed times shakes up their biological clock. A professor once said that it’s best to always listen to your biological clock. Just like with sunbathing, moving and eating: don’t do it too much, but don’t do it too little. A nap every once in a while is not bad, though – as you can read in the next paragraph.


Power napping. Did you know that you can give your body and soul a big boost during daytime in only 5 minutes? A 5 minute nap is more useful than you would ever think. In Spain, they call it a “siësta”, but most people just call it a “power nap” these days. In Vietnam and China, a nap in the afternoon is conventional as well. Usually, people do this during the hottest part of the day.

Research shows that a nap like that has a favourable effect on you. The positive effect differs from person to person, but in general it improves your alertness, creativity and memory. Just see it as an energy boost. ‘If you don’t sleep enough for a long time, your body will compensate by sleeping deeper and more efficient. It’s not possible to catch up on hours of sleep you have missed. Furthermore, resting during daytime is different from resting during nighttime. During daytime, you don’t sleep as deeply, as efficiently or as long.’ says psychologist Caroline Kluft, who works at the Sleeping Centre of MC Haaglanden.


According to sleep experts, a power nap should not take longer than half an hour. If it takes longer, it will take more effort to wake up.

Face plant here pillow

My advice. If you go to bed on time every night and you make sure you get 7 or 8 hours of sleep, you already have the basics of a good resting rhythm. Sometimes I wake up too early when I’m hungry. You can avoid this by having breakfast before you go to sleep. Yes, you read that right: make a healthy breakfast for yourself, you can eat something even when it is 2:30. Furthermore, always set an alarm clock. Even if you want to stay in bed until late, it is better for your biological rhythm to use an alarm clock. I have applied all this knowledge to improve my night’s rest. Thanks to a solid mattress and continuing to get 8 hours of sleep a day, I remain optimistic. If something doesn’t work right away, don’t give up too soon. With this article, hopefully you have found a way to improve your sleeping!

Al deze kennis heb ik toegepast om mijn nachtrust te verbeteren. Dankzij een stevig matras en het aanhouden van 8 uren slaap per dag, blijf ik een optimist. Als iets niet meteen werkt, geef het niet te snel op. Met dit artikel heb je hopelijk een manier gevonden hoe je beter kunt slapen!

Funny Rock pillows
Bedroom tips:
Bedroom tips

The right balance of colour, material and layout can do more than you think. Create a sleepy mood with a mattress and pillow that suit your sleeping posture. You create a relaxing bedroom by finding the right balance of colour and material. Paint your bedroom walls in a neutral colour. Why not a very bright blue? I used to have my walls painted in bubblegum pink, not exactly very relaxing when a sunray would shine into my room. This stimulated me to stay awake. That’s why I have furnished my new bedroom in neutral, earthy tones. How you sleep can be very defining for your mattress and pillow. McKenzie and Willis boxsprings have innerspring mattresses, that have a layer for extra stability and one for extra comfort. Firm mattresses are a good support for people who sleep on their backs. Are you used to sleeping on our side? Choose a medium hard mattress and a firm pillow that is a little higher. People who sleep on their sides have a bigger distance between their neck and shoulders. Furthermore, it is very important to note how firm your pillow is.

What pillow fits you best depends on your sleeping behaviour.

Another option is a memory foam pillow. You can choose from a few different stuffings, like synthetic, fluff or feathers.

On your side: medium hard mattress with a harder and higher pillow

On your belly: Hard mattress with a flatter and softer pillow

On your back: Hard mattress with a softer or harder pillow

This is what a shortage of sleep can cause:


A bigger chance to get ill

A study proved that people who sleep less than 6 hours a night have an increased chance of getting heart diseases or diabetes.


More stress

If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will automatically produce more cortisol, the stress hormone. It doesn’t only give you stress, it can also cause pimples. It doesn’t matter whether you had to stay awake through the night for a deadline, or you were watching a movie marathon… That’s not what you call a night’s rest!


Making dumber choices

Our decision making process involves a lot of parts of your brain. However, if you don’t make sure your head gets enough rest, it will only work at half of its capacity. That can lead to some pretty catastrophic choices.


Being less productive

Do you ever notice how much you’ve been dreaming after an exhausting day? That’s when your brain is busy processing everything you have seen. Because of that, you barely store any new information.


Being less cheerful

Lack of sleep releases negative emotions. A study of Harvard’s Medical School has proven that lack of sleep makes your brain up to 60 percent more reactive, which means that you can’t put emotional events into perspective very well and you lose some control over the way you react. Even the smallest things start to annoy you, like that one colleague that asks you way too many questions.


Being less fertile

Research has shown that lack of sleep is often the cause of infertility. Do you not sleep enough? That increases the chance that you’ll have difficulties getting pregnant at a later age.


Losing your nice shape

Sleeping less can also lead to becoming overweight. Your fat gen will get activated, which makes your body hold more fat. The day after you will probably go on a chocolate rampage or crave some other foods with unhealthy fats.


Losing responsiveness

It probably sounds familiar: you have to make a huge effort just to concentrate on the road ahead of you. Lack of sleep slows down your focus and your memory. This doesn’t only cause your ability to focus to dip, you will also forget more things, because sleep determines your long term memory. Get enough sleep!

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