Why is sleep important?
|If you’re like me, you love your sleep. There is no better feeling than climbing into a comfortable bed after a tiring day. What we don’t realise is that the importance of sleep quality can have a huge impact on your mental health.|
Living with a mental health problem can affect your sleep, and poor sleep can affect your mental health. Contact us if you need help or guidance.
“Poor sleep leads to worrying. Worrying leads to poor sleep. Worrying about sleep is like your mind trying to fight itself. That’s a horrible place to be.”
What problems may you experience with sleep?
|Everyone needs sleep, but many of us may have problems with it, whether it be the length or quality of sleep itself. You may:|
– Find it hard to fall sleep or stay asleep, or wake up earlier than usual.
– Have issues that disturb your sleep such as anxiety, flashbacks, panic attacks etc.
– Find it hard to wake up in the morning and/or get out of bed
– Sleep a lot which may include oversleeping when you need to be awake.
What can cause problems with sleep?
|The factors that affect sleep will differ for everyone, the most common reasons are;|
– Stress or worries such as money, housing or work
– Problems with where you sleep such as a place where you get distracted
– Health conditions such as sleep apnoea
– Taking certain medications
– Recreational drugs and alcohol
– Current or past trauma
How to sleep better!
Sleep at Regular Times
|It is important to set, and stick to, a solid sleeping routine. Most adults need between 6 and 9 hours sleep every night. Having a routine programmes the brain and body to get used to the routine.|
Try and wake up the same time every day, this ensures your routine stays intact. The importance of sleep is higlighted with a good schedule.
|Winding down is a crucial step when preparing to go to sleep. If you still have work and stress on your mind, you will not fall asleep easily. The following can help you to wind down;|
– A warm bath can help you relax and get to the ideal temperature for rest
– Write “to-do” lists for the next day to help clear your mind and thoughts
– Relaxation exercises such as yoga can help the muscles to relax
– Reading a book or listening to the radio helps to relax the mind by distracting it
|Smartphones have been proven to disrupt sleep – not just because your mind is active, but because they give off blue light which can stimulate your brain, tricking it into thinking it’s day time. |
Scrolling through Social Media may cause you to feel stress, jealousy, anger or sadness depending on what you read. Feeling these intense emotions just before you plan on sleeping is not a great way to wind down and may contribute toward sleeping problems.
Don’t be tempted to reply to that one work email – before you know it, it will just be one more and then another after that – set boundaries!
Make your bedroom sleep friendly
|Keep your bedroom as relaxing, peaceful and tidy as possible. Having a relaxing environment to sleep in will help you unwind and fall asleep. |
Having unnecessary tech in your room such as TV’s, games consoles, PC’s etc. may cause you to get distracted so avoid having these where you sleep.
Your bedroom should ideally be dark, quiet and kept at a temperature of between 18C and 24C.
Fit some thick curtains if you do not have any. If you’re disturbed by noise, consider investing in double glazing or, for a cheaper option, use earplugs.
Contact us if you need any further guidance on the importance of sleep.