Your Sleep Habits Are Connected With Your Mental Health
The statistics are staggering: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website reports that over 70 million people in the US are challenged with continuing sleep difficulties. When you don’t get enough sleep, your mental health could be affected in a number of ways:
- You might eat too much,
- You could suffer from depression,
- Your mood might be cranky, and
- Your emotional well-being could be poor.
Your mental health is intricately tied to your sleep habits. Think about it, if you’re not getting enough sleep and have developed chronic health disorders (like obesity, for example), you’re going to suffer considerable mental distress due to the long list of difficulties related to having and dealing with those health disorders.
To further emphasize the intimate connection between sleep and emotional health, the relationship also works in the other direction. If you’re experiencing a lot of stress or suffering from one of a number of various mental issues, such as anxiety or depression, your sleep will be negatively affected.
Therefore, it’s up to you to take every step you can to obtain restful sleep every single night to preserve your mental health. In your efforts to sleep blissfully, consider some of the following suggestions:
Have a good mattress. Although this tip sounds like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised at the number of people who sleep on mattresses that don’t fit their needs. Once your mattress is in its 8th year of use, it’s time to begin researching and shopping for your next new mattress. Look for a mattress that’s supportive, yet comfortable. Don’t forget to have pillows you love.
Set the stage for sleep. Think of your bedroom as a relaxing sanctuary. Design and equip it as such. Avoid clutter or a lot of possessions in the room that will gather dust.
Speaking of dust, do everything possible to keep the room clean and dust-free. Damp-dust furniture and surfaces at least weekly. You’ll breathe better at night, which means you’ll likely sleep better.
Avoid caffeine. Although some sleep experts say not to use caffeine for 3 or 4 hours before bedtime, others stress it can stay in your body for up to 12 hours or even longer. Your best bet is to de-caffeinate. Even if you’re one of those people who says, “Caffeine doesn’t bother me,” you’re going to be absolutely shocked if you ever truly decide to go off it. Remember, caffeine is a drug and it’s going to affect you whether you believe it does or not. It’s happening and it’s likely negatively impacting your sleep.
Recognize alcohol and nicotine disrupt sleep. The fact is that alcohol-although a sedative-prevents you from getting deep-stage sleep, which means you’ll wake up more. Nicotine is actually a mild stimulant, which will hamper efforts to go to sleep. Nicotine withdrawal during the night disrupts sleep. Plus, nicotine use increases bad and makes you feel drowsy in the mornings.
Take part in exercise every day, completing your routine 4-6 hours before bed. Exercise can jazz you up a bit and make it more difficult to relax if done too close to bedtime. However, if you complete exercise every morning or afternoon, your sleep will most likely improve.
Pay attention to the temperature. More and more, researchers are finding out that if a bedroom is too warm, you won’t get good sleep. Think “cool.” The National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping the temperature between 54 and 75 degrees for a good sleep.
Nix the television, electronic tablet, and smartphone at bedtime. Probably the toughest suggestion of all to follow, avoiding technology a couple of hours before bedtime is best for slumber. Try reading a good book instead.
The facts are clear: when you sleep better, you feel better physically and emotionally. For more info on how your mental health and sleep habits are entwined, visit the National Sleep Foundation website.