Category: Mental Health Awareness Week
Showing posts with label Mental Health Awareness Week. Show all posts

How sleep impacts your mental health.

*This post is in collaboration with TEMPUR®, however, all thoughts within this post are my own* 



I have an on-off relationship with sleep, it's been going on for years. There are nights when I struggle to get any sleep, like I will be tossing and turning for hours and then there are other nights where I can hardly keep my eyes open and I'm straight to sleep. Like most of us, our lack of sleep can be attributed to worries around everyday life. In a survey conducted by TEMPUR®, 20% of the participants reported that they struggle to sleep due to family worries and a whopping 27% struggle to sleep due to stress. The survey also found that on average Brits get 6 hours and 42 minutes of sleep each night which sounds about right for me. Sometimes less, hardly ever more. Only 35% of the survey participants rating their quality of sleep to be good/excellent. As the TEMPUR® survey was conducted on 2,000 adults in the UK, the number of us rating our sleep as poor or inconsistent really isn't good. So what are some ways to improve our sleep?

Creating the perfect sleep environment: 
I've been reading into ways to help improve my sleep and one of the items on the list is comfort. For those of you who are in need of a new mattress now is the time to treat yourself. A new mattress can do amazing things, not only for your physical health but your mental health too. Alongside a new mattress, I often find purchasing new pillows and a duvet which works well for your body heat (thinnest one ever for me please) is essential for being able to get the best nights sleep all year round. I often sleep with a fan on as it allows me to feel cool enough to drift off, as nobody likes that humid feeling when they're trying to get to sleep. You should try to sleep in a pitch black room if possible.

Switch off the gadgets: 
Trying to get into a routine is key for getting optimum levels of sleep, going to bed at a variety of different hours and then waking up too early or too late can impact the following night's sleep. If you're like me, my phone and TV keep me up until after midnight and then I feel completely awake as I've been so interested in my devices when it comes to chilling out, it's almost impossible for me. As someone who regularly uses their phone late at night and early in the morning I do often find myself engrossed in scrolling through social media for hours at a time and not actually realise I am doing so. In aid to make me less likely to do this, I've started to put my phone on charge away from the bed so I actively have to move to go get it instead of it just being next to me.


Keep a sleep diary: 
Keeping a sleep diary can be a great way to find your sleeping habits and if there are any patterns within your sleep. If you have a smartwatch that you can have on during your sleep without it disturbing you, I'd recommend using this to monitor your sleeping pattern and start to pull together any links in your sleep cycle. Is it a certain time of day? Or can you remember what happened on that day? Jotting all of this down can be beneficial to work out what is causing you to have a poor night's sleep.   

Writing a to-do list for the next day:
I don't know about you, but whenever I can't sleep my mind wanders to all of the things I need to do the next day and I want to make a note of them in my phone. If you get into a habit of taking the time each day to write down any tasks left over from that day or new ones you need to do, it will allow you to have fewer things to worry about on your mind. Plus, it means an excuse for a new notebook.

I'd love to know your thoughts on getting the perfect nights sleep in the comments. If you have any further advice feel free to share it too!