Not getting enough sleep at night can negatively affect your mental health.
Sleep is closely linked to mental health. Not getting enough sleep at night can negatively affect your mood, leaving you feeling exhausted, stressed, irritable, sad, or angry. Alternatively, getting enough sleep - and quality sleep - can help improve your mood and overall mental health. Here are seven ways to improve your sleep and support your mental health.
1. Stick to a sleep schedule. Find a bedtime and wake-up time that works with your daily routine and commit to following this sleep schedule each day. Be sure your schedule allows for 7-8 hours of sleep to help ensure you get enough shuteye. Stick close to your schedule on the weekends, too.
2. Create a comfortable sleeping space. Use a mattress that doesn’t cause pain or discomfort and is large enough for you to stretch out. Make your bedroom more relaxing by keeping it quiet and dark when you’re trying to sleep.
3. Avoid food and drinks right before bed. Caffeine and alcohol can interfere with the quality of your sleep. Eating food – especially heavy meals – right before bed can cause discomfort and heartburn. Give yourself a few food-free hours between your evening meal and bedtime.
4. Don’t exercise too close to bedtime. While including regular physical activity in your schedule can help promote quality sleep, exercising too close to bedtime can actually interfere with your sleep.
5. Avoid screen time before bed. The light from electronics like your TV, phone, or computer stimulate your brain and make you feel more awake. Avoid using electronic devices for about an hour or so before you go to sleep. Calming activities like reading or listening to music may help you relax before bed.
6. Reduce stress. Stress and worry can make it difficult to fall asleep. Finding healthy ways to manage stress, such as through meditation or journaling, can help you relax and fall asleep.
7. Talk to a doctor. If you’re having trouble getting enough quality sleep, ask a doctor about being evaluated for sleep problems. If they find an issue, they can provide next steps to help you get better sleep.
Getting proper sleep can help improve your mood and support good mental health. We hope these tips help you get a good night’s rest and help you feel your best.
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