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Better sleep through a relaxed nervous system

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

The word sleep disorder is googled over 27,100 times a month in Germany. And the increasing number of advertisements for sleep-improving drugs and dietary supplements also suggests that many people have problems with a very important part of our regeneration: sleep.

Sleep better without medication thanks to a relaxed nervous system.
Sleep better without medication

People who have trouble falling asleep, wake up repeatedly during the night or do not get up refreshed in the morning suffer because the consequences range from frequent tiredness to exhaustion and anxiety.

The causes can be complex, often stress and tension are related, but also too little exercise, teeth grinding, bright light in the bedroom, alcohol, shift work and much more can affect sleep. Of course, there are also medical causes, such as certain illnesses that cause us to sleep badly, and medication is certainly helpful here, but many sleep doctors are nevertheless increasingly helping people to sleep calmly and well again, even without medication. And they do this because they know that medication is not always the panacea. Sleep doctors, for example, use melatonin (a hormone that promotes our sleep and is therefore present in higher concentrations at night) only in a very limited and cautious way for sleep problems.

In contrast, advertising currently suggests that pills and sprays containing melatonin will help us fall asleep quickly and that we can finally enjoy restful sleep again. What is left out is information that melatonin is broken down after an hour and that sleeping through the night is therefore not guaranteed. Nor is there any mention of the possible side effects, such as headaches, restlessness, nervousness, nightmares and gastrointestinal complaints, dizziness, irritability and much more. In the end, it is a hormone to which each person can react individually.

But what is even more important: a melatonin deficiency is not necessarily the reason why we suffer from sleep disorders. In about 50 percent of cases, stress, anxiety, tension, restless thoughts, illnesses or medication are the reason why we do not fall asleep or sleep through the night.

If we are restless or frequently or constantly under stress and tension, this is not only a psychological burden, but also a strain on our nervous system. It reacts in such states with an ancient defence mechanism. The biological stress reactions fight, flight or freeze are natural survival programmes of our body and protect us in dangerous situations. Stress hormones are released, the immune system and digestion are shut down. These reactions are very useful for humans in the short term, but if the stresses persist, we can develop diseases or even sleep disorders.

There are many ways to promote better sleep, for example:

  • Getting enough exercise during the day or going for a walk in the evening.

  • Avoiding noise and light sources in the bedroom

  • Various relaxation techniques and breathing exercises

  • Massages, progressive muscle relaxation

  • Do not eat or drink much before going to bed

  • Avoiding alcohol, caffeine and nicotine in the evening

  • Do not use electronics (mobile phone and TV) before going to bed

  • Keeping a regular day-night rhythm

Some of these things are helpful because they have a direct influence on our autonomic nervous system. We know from neurology that a balanced, relieved autonomic or vegetative nervous system is also the basis for good and peaceful sleep, because it regulates many bodily functions, such as breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, metabolism and digestion, etc. A relaxed nervous system, however, ensures a good night's sleep.

However, a relaxed nervous system not only ensures better, deeper sleep, we feel more relaxed overall, can deal better with stress and problems, increase our performance/learning ability as well as creativity and so on and so forth....

In my coaching sessions with the Safe and Sound Protocol we train our autonomic nervous system with the help of music. Since our hearing is connected to the vagus nerve (our so-called relaxation nerve and the largest nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system), we can stimulate it with the help of technically processed music through ear-enclosing headphones. In this way we teach our nervous system not to react permanently to "danger signals", but to feel calm, safe and balanced. And in many cases, this forms the basis for a restful, good night's sleep.

If you want to know more about this, you can read more on my page about neurosensory training programs.


The SSP is not a substitute for medical treatment or psychotherapy.

No medical diagnoses are made. This form of treatment does not replace the diagnosis and treatment of a doctor or alternative practitioner or other supportive therapeutic measures.

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