With many people forced to take unpaid leaves, work from home, and school closing, it is easy for one to be stressed or unable to get any sleep. Unknown to many, depression can take a toll on one’s mental health and well-being, making their life almost unbearable. Lack of sleep is one of the leading causes of sleep-related issues and vice versa. Maintaining healthy sleep hygiene can, however, help lower the risk of mental health issues, a reason it is important to address these issues on time.
Most people that wake up moody and easily agitated have a lack of sleep to blame. This is, however, just the tip of the iceberg on how lack of sleep can affect your life. For this reason, it would be advisable to look into and fix any factors that might be making it hard for you to get enough sleep or sleep at all. Dealing with anxiety, in this case, is the first step to sleeping soundly at night in person therapy can be a great help with getting to the root cause of anxiety. Here are a few strategies that might work.
1. Create A Sleep Routine
A sleep routine can help train your body to calm down and slide to sleep when you need/have to. Although you might be working from home or have kids all over the house, this shouldn’t be a reason to keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. Make a habit of engaging in activities that help the body calm down and relax just before bedtime. This can be anything from dimming the lights, listening to relaxing music, turning off the TV, or even taking a warm shower. It would also be advisable to avoid daytime naps, especially if you struggle to fall asleep.
2. Lead an Active Lifestyle
Physical exercise is good for your overall well-being and goes a long way in promoting sleep and moods. One of the benefits of regular exercise is that it helps boost heart health and blood pressure, which go a long way in combating stress and depression. You don’t necessarily need to join an exercise class or the gym to start enjoying some of these benefits. It can be as simple as walking for at least 15 minutes, jogging, dancing, or even doing your chores at home. Anything that makes you sweat is good exercise. Don’t exercise a few hours before bedtime – doing so could disrupt your sleep/wake cycle.
3. Enjoy/Bask in The Sun (Natural Light)
Social distancing, self-isolating, or even working from home might discourage you from venturing outdoors or going out to get some sun. Well, staying indoors isn’t healthy either; it could adversely affect your physical and mental well-being. Allowing natural light, or the sun, in your face in the morning or even during the day can go a long way in promoting good quality sleep. One way to do this is to draw the curtains and open the windows first thing when you wake up, or even better, go for a silent walk around your block when you can. The morning light helps reset the body’s internal clock, hence recommended.
4. Avoid Drinking at Night
Unless on special occasions, it would be advisable to stay away from alcohol, especially a few hours before bedtime. While alcohol may make you drowsy, it can significantly impact your REM sleep, making it harder to get the much-needed restful sleep.
5. Create A Relaxing Sleep Environment
The condition of your bedroom can make or break a good night’s sleep. Sleep experts recommend keeping your bedroom neat, organized, quiet, dark, and cool for optimal sleep. You also want to invest in a supportive and comfortable bed. It is much easier to drift to sleep on a comfortable bed than an uncomfortable one. Be sure to keep unnecessary clutter and electronic devices from the bedroom for the best experience.
6. Avoid Electronic Devices Towards Bedtime
Although smartphones and other devices have made life easier, using them for too long can disrupt your ability to sleep well. These devices emit blue light, the spectrum known to interfere with the body’s ability to produce sleep hormones or melatonin. That said, avoid these devices or even turn them off a few hours to bedtime. Switching your phone to silent or airplane mode towards bedtime is recommended as well.
7. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Deep breathing exercises, yoga, and even meditation can help fight anxiety and boost sleep. All you need is to know when you are stressed out or anxious, then take a few deep breathes or other exercises to help calm down. Most people find listening to relaxing music, reading a novel, or even going for a swim relaxing enough to make them sleepy. Find out what works best for you.