Why is sleep so important to our mental wellbeing?

Waking up feeling exhausted, bad moods and low energy…We all know what it feels like to have a terrible night sleep. But did you know that continuous poor sleep could be contributing negatively towards your overall mental wellness?

Sleep plays a major part in the restoration process of our body – allowing our minds to really switch off which is often hard throughout the day as responsibilities control our time. The effects of not getting enough consistently can include poor attention and concentration, becoming irritable, impaired reaction time and poor physical coordination.

Now we know why sleep is so important, what habits can we start to form to give us the best chance of a good night’s sleep?

Switch your devices to night mode and reduce blue light

Research has found that the blue light that is produced by electronic devices can suppress the body’s sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. How does this affect us long term? It can cause havoc with the body’s natural internal clock that helps us to decipher what time to go to sleep and what time we should wake up. To ensure you don’t get too much blue light in the evenings, switch your tablets and phone to night mode or invest in a pair of glasses that are specifically made to reduce blue light intake (Sleep Foundation).

Watch what you are consuming later in the day

Whether it’s a coffee late in the day or one too many alcoholic drinks regularly at night…it’s incredibly important to be mindful of what is being put into your body and how this could be affecting the quality of your sleep. If you are looking for simple ways to get a good night sleep, try switching the coffee for a chamomile tea before bed.

Create a regular nightly routine

Having a regular routine throughout the day is often seen as extremely beneficial for mental wellness, and nighttime is no different. Try setting designated times that you will commit to heading to bed and waking up in the morning, this will allow your body to form regular sleeping patterns.

Clear your mind before heading to bed each night

One of the many reasons why sleep can be so difficult, especially for those who may be struggling with their mental wellness, is overthinking when you turn the lights out. To help with clearing your mind before heading to bed each night try adding some yoga, meditation or simply reading a paperback book into your nightly routine. 

Add some regular exercise into your lifestyle

We all know how beneficial regular exercise can be for our physical health, however it’s also incredibly helpful for reducing stress and anxiety which in turn can help with getting a good night’s sleep. Try starting by going for a walk in nature with a mate after work each afternoon to clear the mind and get your body moving before winding down at night.

If you have serious issues with sleep or need help managing stress and anxiety, we strongly encourage you to head to your local GP for a check up.

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