World Mental Health Day 10th October 2019. Sleep and our mental health, they are very much connected.
How much do you sleep? Is there a pattern in the amount of hours you sleep? We all need to look after our brains, they and our bodies need proper sleep.
As adults we should sleep 7-8 hours. Far too many of us don’t. Why is that? What affects your sleep? Can something be done about it?
The affect lack of sleep has on our overall wellbeing is immense. Focus at work or school becomes harder, risk of injuries increase and we can risk other peoples lives by becoming dangerous drivers. We jeopardise our health as risks for heart disease, obesity and diabetes increase. Our sex drive is also affected which in turn can affect our relationship with our partner.
The list goes on…
So what can be done?
We all know about routines, what is stopping some of us creating one? There are lots of tips on-line ex:
· Relax in any way you can before going to bed. Ex. Bath, visualisation, deep, conscious breathing.
· A good bed and pillows are worth investing in! Comfort is essential.
· Tech-free time. Yes, turn off those screens at least an hour before bed time! Our brains need the rest.
· Exercise, exercise and exercise. No time to do it? Prioritise it! If there is a will, there is a way!
· Sometimes the cause is physical, seek medical advice.
· Caffeine and alcohol are not the best to drink before bed time. Be aware of the amount drunk and when. Then change it!
Other ideas are things like putting lavender oil on the pillow and using silk pillow cases and eye masks. My daughters swear by it!
Journaling at the end of the day is something really good for our general wellbeing in either case. By writing in a nice note book, all the things going on in our heads, we help our minds and improve mental clarity to enable solving problems and overall focus.
By sharing our thoughts on paper we can also become clearer in what we need to do, what is actually working or not. It’s a dialogue with ourselves that no one else is part of.
Taking care of our minds should be a priority for us all. How else can we be the best version of ourselves?!