People often talk about sleep and how important it is for our body to function, especially brain function. If we have poor sleep for long periods of time, it’s harder to think, concentrate, we lack motivation and make it that much harder to push through our day. Our bodies and minds feel exhausted and it’s not even lunchtime yet.
Now imagine having poor sleep and experiencing all of the above whilst trying to manage your mental health. Lack of proper quality sleep can impact our ability to cope and deal with not only the demands of our day, like pushing through that meeting that could have been an email but our ability to contend with our mental health. Not being able to concentrate, or have the energy whilst experiencing anxiety, for example, intensifies the anxiety, making it that much harder for us to cope and deal with. Have you ever had one of those days when nothing goes right no matter how much coffee you have drunk? Crappy days + lack of sleep + mental health issues = a recipe for disaster, and quite often (in many cases) may lead to a complete shut down resulting in an inability to function at all, or behaviour such as snapping at someone because they ate the last Oreo cookie. It is really important for us to look after our mental health.
So, good news! There are some things that may help you gain a better quality of sleep, thereby helping you to cope and deal with your mental health.
Sleep hygiene tips:
- General balanced diet and light exercise.
- Avoid caffeine after 3 pm.
- Avoid napping during the day (I know you want to, but no!)
- Try to get some sunlight during the day.
- Establish a bedtime routine.
Here are some links for further information regarding better sleep practices and benefits.