The Impact of Sleep on Your Mental Health
Taking care of your mental health is vital to your overall well-being, and sleep plays a critical role in maintaining good mental health.
When we don’t get enough sleep, it can contribute to the development of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.
On the other hand, getting enough quality sleep can help reduce the symptoms of those disorders.
The relationship between sleep and mental health is pretty clear: if you don’t get enough sleep, it can impact your mental health negatively, and if you have mental health issues, it can impact your sleep negatively.
When we don’t get enough quality sleep, our brain’s ability to regulate mood is impaired, leading to irritability, sadness, and anxiety.
Sleep also helps us consolidate memories and improve learning, which is critical for maintaining good mental health as well.
During sleep, our brains process and store information, helping us to remember and learn new things.
This is particularly important during stressful periods when we need to process and cope with what is going on.
So... What can you do to start getting better sleep? Here are a few tips:
Stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. Yes- weekends too… I heard the eyeroll, but seriously- do it.
Create a relaxing sleep environment. Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet (or use sleep sounds). I like the ones that are tied to our energy centers or chakras. Google it.
Avoid screen time before bed. The blue light emitted by electronic devices can disrupt your sleep. Try avoiding phones, tablets, and computers before bed. Now you know why you or your teen look like a zombie waking up most days. Again, just try it.
Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake. Caffeine and alcohol can interfere with your sleep, so try and avoid them before you go to bed. Recent studies shine a light on how much caffeine disrupts your sleep.
Practice relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help calm your mind and prepare your body for sleep. I am a huge believer in breathing to restore energy. Breathe in for six and out for six several times. I do this before bed and anytime I feel overwhelmed.
Getting enough quality sleep is essential for maintaining good mental health. If you are interested in bettering your mental and physical health, start with your sleep!
It is the cheapest healthy habit out there!