SLEEPING FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Did you know that sleep and the quality of sleep you have significantly impacts your mood, behaviour, emotional wellbeing, the decisions you make and how focused your brain is? If you want to regain your psychological balance, approach life with increased positive energy and more focus, then keep reading!
While there’s no magic solution for sleep issues and/or mental health concerns, and in fact sleep and mental health problems often exist in a tug of war relationship to each other, with each condition influencing the other. There is no denying life is filled with stress, challenges and pressures which can impact your sleep and mental health, however, there are certainly some ways to get more sleep and positively impact your life and any mental health disorders. Here are a few:
WHAT YOU CONSUME
Limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume, especially before bedtime. Easier said than done but, quit smoking, it is proven that cigarettes impact sleep, nicotine being a stimulant lessens your ability to switch off and to get into a deep sleep throughout your sleep pattern.
Don’t go to bed on an empty or a bloated stomach as it causes digestive disturbances and continually disrupts your night’s sleep.
Limit fluids for the hour before bedtime as it will limit the need for you to wake and go to the toilet during the night.
“Ideally we should be aiming for 7 to 9 hours shut-eye each night”
HOW YOU BEHAVE
AVOID napping during the day, even a 10-minute power nap during the day or evening will impact your ability to wind down and switch off.
Make sure you do wind down an hour before bedtime and it will help you to switch off and sleep soundly, going to bed with an active mind will impact your ability to fall asleep. Using meditation or a preferred form of relaxation will help. Or, if your mind is active, thinking through the many tasks you have for the following day then try writing them all down before going to bed.
Have a regular sleep pattern, go to bed at the same time each night!
“Prioritising a good night’s sleep is good self-love”
YOUR INTERACTIONS WITH TECHNOLOGY
Alarm clocks are a thing of the past for most of us! We take our phones to bed with us, because our phone is our alarm clock. That’s the only reason right!
Wrong? A recent study has found that more than 50% of the population use their phone or other electronic devices in bed right before sleeping. Using such a device will increase brain activity and alertness and then, as a result, lengthen the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. For some of us what we read may not only lengthen the amount of time it takes to fall asleep but keep us awake with worry and concern.
We also know that the blue light from electronic screens suppresses a sleep-promoting hormone called melatonin, so it is best to have a 1 to 2-hour screen free period before bed.
Studies also show that 30% of us do not have the phone switched to silent mode when we are asleep which means constant interruptions to our sleep throughout the night. Phone noises and interruptions keep us light sleeping and therefore limits our ability to reach that much needed deep sleep phase.
“The best way to start a day is waking up from a great night’s sleep”
You might read all of this and think, ‘Hey…I do all the right things and I still have trouble sleeping’. This being the case you may need to first check for bed bugs and then if you can’t find evidence of bed bugs visit your GP or Psychologist to chat through some of the issues that may be bothering you and impacting your sleep.
Call Real Therapy Solutions and make an appointment today if you need additional support to sleep soundly. Our team can be reached on 1300 856 617.