Sleep is an essential part of our health, we need it the way we need water, food and exercise. You may think you’re resting but actually, whilst you’re napping away, your body is working!
There’s a reason why sleep makes us feel good. As we sleep the body is being repaired; the energy we lost in the day is being restored and our levels of hormones are being regulated. This is essential for you to feel good and be able to have energy for the day ahead.
The quality of sleep we get is detrimental to our overall health, especially our mental well-being. Mental health effects 1 in 4 of us no matter what stage of life we are in and your quality of sleep – or lack of – may be effecting you. We’re going to delve into how sleep affects your mental health and what you can do about it!
Sleep deprivation has been linked to mental health problems. If you aren’t getting enough sleep at night, it can start having a decline effect on your health. The odd restless night here and there is okay, but when it turns into days and weeks that’s when mental health may start to change.
You may find that you are struggling to concentrate and make decisions, this is because your brain will develop what we like to call a brain fog – you’re so tired that your judgment is altered. The frustrations of not being able to focus properly may start making you feel low too.
There is also a higher chance of injury when sleep deprived. With a lack of judgement, you may be more susceptible to unwanted trips and falls to which you may injure yourself. This is more worrying when you are living alone too – this is why sleep is a necessity.
Why can’t you sleep?
Does it feel like everyone around you can get to sleep and you can’t? Maybe that thought alone keeps you up at night too.
If you struggle to get some shut eye, it’s important to try and get to the root of the problem. There are many factors that can contribute to lack of sleep whether it’s from temporary interruptions to your normal routine or if you suffer with a sleep disorder.
But don’t worry, we have good news! There are changes you can make to help you get to sleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep.
What can you do?
If you have a hectic lifestyle, you may be trying to cram more than you can bear into your day. This in effect can disrupt your sleeping schedule and you may not be getting a sufficient amount of sleep to be able to function.
It’s important to try and get into the habit where you are going to bed and waking up at a certain time every day. Set a reminder on your phone to get ready for bed and an alarm clock to wake you up. You may find over time that your body naturally starts adjusting to the time and you don’t need those little reminders.
If you have too much to do in the day and that’s why you can’t get to bed at a sensible time, try prioritising your tasks from most important to least. That way you can go to bed at an earlier time with peace of mind that you’re most important tasks are complete.
On the plus side, you will be getting more sleep which means better energy to complete the tasks that were missed the day prior!
Your bed matters
You may not realise but you could be suffering with sleep deprivation or struggling to maintain a comfortable night’s sleep because of your bed!
According to The Sleep Council the comfort of your bed is one of the most basic things you can change in order to improve your sleep and thus have a positive change on your mental health.
If your bed or mattress is old and you feel it’s time for a change, an adjustable bed could be the right solution for you. If you suffer with back pain or arthritis – with an adjustable bed, you can find a comfortable position for you to sleep to help alleviate any pain.
Maybe you’re someone who struggles with their posture. Having a supportive mattress that gives you ultimate comfort is vital for a comfortable night’s rest. Our mattresses are designed to shape your body to alleviate pain and provide support to the contours of your body.
Going to bed stressed can keep you awake for longer – your mind will be too stimulated. It’s found that reading is likely to reduce stress by up to 68%, so, reading a book is a great way to wind down for bed and escape real life for a moment.
Reading is a great stimulator for sleep, immersing yourself into a book helps keep your concentration on one thing for a long amount of time. As you relax your body will start relaxing, meaning you may be able to get to sleep faster.
It’s important to have the right lighting when reading – the aim is to get sleepy but bright lights are very stimulating. If reading a physical book, its best to use a lamp with a dull light, but make sure you can read without straining your eyes.
Top Tip! If you’re a kindle user, change your settings to a black background with white writing. That way you will be reducing the amount of light coming off the screen.
Did you know that exercising can help you get to sleep better and is brilliant for mental health?
Exercise is an essential part to a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t need to be intense exercise either, anything is better than nothing.
Everybody’s body is different – the time of day you exercise is down to you. For some people exercise gives them an adrenaline boost making them feel more alert, but for others it has the opposite effect and it tires them out. If you’re part of the latter, exercising at a later time in the day can help you fall asleep faster. However, it is important not to leave it too late in the day or else you will be awake for longer.
It is proven that exercise helps boost your mental-well being. If you’re feeling low due to lack of sleep, not only will regular exercise help you sleep better but it will also help improve your mental and physical health. How? As we exercise our body releases hormones called endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body. Even a little walk out in the fresh air will help you feel much better.
Top Tip! It’s important to stay hydrated, make sure to drink plenty whilst you’re exercising and after.
Your bedroom is your temple – keep that in mind if you’re struggling to get some shut eye.
Getting the best lighting when winding down for bed is important, a blackout blind can be very useful to cut out all of that unnecessary light when getting ready for sleep. Making sure that your room is a decent temperature and fresh air is flowing through is also key to be able to get your body to relax.
Chances are if you have a cluttered bedroom your mind will feel more cluttered. There is nothing worse than walking into a messy bedroom when you are supposed to be winding down for bed.
How can a cluttered room cause sleep problems? Well, you’re supposed to be able to relax in your bedroom. The surrounding clutter acts as a visual stimuli for the brain and makes it more difficult to relax. That’s why it’s important to keep your space clean and tidy.
Now you know why you feel so much better after you’ve cleaned up!
Take a bath
One of the best ways to relax before bed is to take a bath!
When we immerse ourselves in warm water it helps regulate the temperature of your body and improves blood circulation. Our body clock knows it’s time for sleep and it will naturally start cooling down ready for bed – producing the sleep hormone, melatonin.
It is advised that you bath about 90 minutes before bed to get the full benefits of a good night’s sleep. The relaxing feel of the water will also make you keep calm and de-stress from the day’s activities.
Adding essential oils to the bath, such as lavender, help you to wind down even more and has been known to aid sleeping. This is a great way of helping you feel positive and relaxed before getting into bed.
Now you finally have a reason to be excited about getting to bed. We hope that you’ve found our tips useful and you find something that helps you get a great night’s rest and make you feel better!
If you have tried all of the above and still find it difficult to sleep, we suggest that you seek medical advice from your GP as there may be an underlying issue.
If you need someone to talk to or have any tips for sleep then please don’t hesitate to speak to us. Our inbox is always open.