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Sleep Tips to Help Combat Common Mental Health Problems
Research shows that people with mental health problems are more likely to suffer from insomnia or other sleep-related disorders such as restless leg syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea. However, the connection between sleep and mental health works the other way too. Poor quality sleep can hurt your mental health and worsen existing issues. Here are some steps you can take to sleep better and rejuvenate your mental health.
Avoid Sleeping with Pets
Sleeping with your dog may be comforting, but it could be disrupting your sleep more than you think. People who sleep with dogs tend to wake up more often throughout the night and report lower sleep efficiency than people who keep their pets off the bed. Large dogs can be particularly disrupting as they force you into uncomfortable sleeping positions. SheKnows lists several other good reasons to keep your bed pet-free, including bacteria, parasites, and allergens that may be damaging your health.
Get a New Mattress
As you look for a crate for your dog, consider picking up a new bed for yourself as well. Old mattresses can contribute to sleep disorders. So, if your mattress is over 10 years old, it’s probably time for an upgrade. Take some time to decide what kind of mattress would be best for your sleep style, body type, and personal preferences. For example, memory foam mattresses work well for a wide variety of individuals and they also tend to last longer than innerspring mattresses. Look for a memory foam mattress in your desired firmness level, and make sure it fits your budget and sleep style. Familiarize yourself with mattress brands and read reviews before buying.
Transform Your Bedroom Into a Dedicated Sleep Zone
Replacing your mattress isn’t the only thing you can do to improve your bedroom environment. Turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary by keeping it cool, dark, and quiet. To achieve a sleep-friendly bedroom, you may have to buy some blackout curtains and a white noise machine. The Spruce also recommends incorporating calming, muted colors into your bedroom décor and doing away with stimulating clutter. If you struggle with anxiety or ADHD, you may find it impossible to relax when you’re surrounded by stuff.
Develop a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Going to bed right after squeezing in some last-minute work or watching a stimulating show can leave your mind reeling. A calming bedtime routine can help you wind down in the evenings. Focus your routine around activities that are good for your mental health, like meditation, yoga, and journaling. If you have trouble clearing your mind at night, try writing a to-do list for the next day. Reading a good book or taking a bath can also help prepare your body and mind for sleep.
Exercising daily is one of the best things you can do for your sleep quality. However, people struggling with their mental health can have a hard time finding the energy or motivation to exercise. Start small and find exercises that you really enjoy. If you’re motivated by others, join a fitness class or find a gym buddy. If you prefer to be alone, try an at-home bodyweight workout or go for a walk in the forest. According to the American Heart Association, walking in nature can help diminish a variety of mental concerns from stress to depression.
Many people aren’t aware of the close connection between sleep and mental health.
While sleeping better may not cure mental illness, it can help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression during the day. If you’re struggling with mental health concerns, try redesigning your bedroom and adopting some healthy sleep habits — it might just change your life!
Guest article written by Brad Krause from SelfCaring.info