January 25, 2023

Why Is Sleep So Important For Good Mental Health?

Good sleep is absolutely crucial to good mental health. If you do only one thing to help improve your mental health from these blogs, you should improve your sleep. 

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Good sleep is absolutely crucial to good mental health. If you do only one thing to help improve your mental health from these blogs, you should improve your sleep.

Put simply, you cannot function at your best if you are not sufficiently rested. We all need time to rest, recuperate, and process everything that has happened during the day. In addition, not enough sleep often leads to anxiety and depression as our bodies and minds are forced into survival mode.

Everybody needs varying amounts of sleep, so work out how much you need. Be honest with yourself. There is nothing macho or dedicated in only surviving on a few hours’ sleep. All that you are doing is depriving yourself, not fulfilling your potential, and making yourself grouchy and argumentative with other people.

Your brain needs time to wind down before bed, so start getting into a good bedtime routine:

– No mobile phones, tablets, laptops or games consoles for 30 minutes before you go to bed.

– Put your mobile phone on silent whilst you sleep.

– Stop working at least an hour before you go to bed.

– Try to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Our bodies and minds love routine.

– If you must watch TV to help you fall sleep, set a timer so that the TV turns itself off automatically after a certain period of time.

– If you are nodding off on the sofa or in the chair, then go to bed. Listen to your body. Only sleep in your bed, nowhere else, if possible.

– If you find yourself just lying there at night, think about something nice and relaxing like a previous holiday.

– Do something to mentally wind down before bed, like reading, meditating or listening to calming music.

The biggest reason why we do not get enough sleep is because our minds will not switch off. If you have this problem, try writing down a list of all of the things that are worrying you, or that you may be worried that you will forget, before you go to sleep. Then you can be assured that they are on the list, and you do not need to worry about them anymore. If you start to worry, then remind and reassure yourself that the issue is on the list, and you can worry about it again tomorrow. If another issue pops into your head, just add it to the list.

Contrary to what we think, constantly going over things in our minds does not help to solve issues. In fact, we usually simply wind ourselves up. By contrast, sleeping on a problem does usually helps us to solve it naturally. This is because when we worry, we are using our conscious minds to solve an issue, however not all issues can be solved by the conscious. Often, if we leave it to our subconscious, it is solved easily and effortlessly. This is why we have those flashes of brilliance when we least expect it, seemingly out of nowhere. Therefore, trust that the answer will come to you, do not constantly worry.

I would not recommend going to sleep on an argument with your partner or children though. This does not mean to say that you must get to the bottom of every issue with them each night. It simply means do not go to bed on bad terms with one another. Remember that although you may not see eye to eye with one another at that moment, you still love each other. It is important to reassure each other of this before you go to sleep.

Your sleep should be your priority, therefore:

– Try not to let children or pets sleep in your bed. They often disturb our sleep.

– Get your children into a good bedtime routine.

– Invest in blackout curtains if sunlight or outside light prevents you from sleeping well.

– Get separate winter and summer duvets, if temperature is an issue. If you are a woman of a certain age, think about seeing your GP about HRT.

– Think about ear plugs, if sound is an issue.

– If your partner says that they cannot sleep due to your snoring, then do something about it. Do not expect them to put up with it. Lose weight, cut down on alcohol, stop smoking, or see a chemist or GP.

= Invest in a good quality mattress, pillows and bed.

– Ensure your bedroom is a calm and restful place. Don’t work in your bedroom, if possible.

If you are still having problems sleeping, then you should contact your GP to ensure that there is not a medical cause for your sleep issues. If there is not a medical issue, then contact me for further help and advice.

For more information, or just a chat, please contact me on 07742 209312 or nicole@greenoaktherapies.co.uk

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