Guest Post – 6 Steps to Improve Your Sleep Quality and Improve Your Mental Health

Use these simple tips to adjust your nightly routine, improve your sleep environment, and reduce your stress.

Improved mental health is one of the many benefits of better sleep. So if you are constantly tossing and turning at night, you could be waking up with more stress, and at higher risk for issues like depression and anxiety. So how can you turn things around and boost your emotional well-being? You can start by using these simple tips to adjust your nightly routine, improve your sleep environment, and set yourself up for a good night’s sleep and the best mental well-being.

Your Aching Back

You’re probably aware that discomfort can get in the way of a good night’s sleep. For those suffering with chronic issues like back pain, on top of that, the pain can negatively impact mental health. It’s like a double whammy, so if you suffer from back pain that is impacting your slumber, it’s important to address the issue. Oftentimes a new mattress can make a huge difference, especially if your current one is more than ten years old.

Gentle Transitions

If you use yoga to wake yourself up in the morning, why not use yoga to help yourself sleep better at night? A gentle flow can help prepare your body for rest, and meditation can help calm your mind as well. Supportive and restorative yin poses, like supported butterfly and legs-up-the-wall are best before settling into savasana in your bed, and for best results, practice at least five minutes of meditation at some point in the evening as well.

Sleeper’s Haven

As MSN explains, your bedroom should be a haven for sleep. To create the right ambiance in your bedroom, avoid using bold, bright colors, and instead, opt for soft tones that help relax your mind. Also try layering your bed and floors with soft fabrics, to create a cozy spot for your body to unwind and fall asleep faster. You can also add relaxing scents, such as lavender, bergamot and sandalwood, to help soothe your mind. Many people find that a dehumidifier can help them sleep, particularly during the warmer times of year. Excess humidity can bring about mold and dust which can make sleep difficult by irritating your skin and respiratory system.

Maintain Proper Temperatures and Lighting

The quality of your sleep can hinge on your circadian rhythm. This simply refers to the internal processes inside your brain and body that let you know it’s either time to sleep, or time to stay awake. If you’re having trouble sleeping, there may be something throwing your internal clock off, such as lighting or temperature. If you want to re-establish a healthy circadian rhythm, try lowering the thermostat to 60-68 degrees and dimming the lights as bedtime approaches, both of which signal to your mind and body that it’s time for sleep.

Turn Off Screens and Keep Them Out of Bedrooms

Many people relax at night by scrolling through social media or watching television, but Verywell Health explains by exposing themselves to blue light before bed, those folks could be severely impacting the quality of their sleep. Exposure to the blue light of screens disrupts that all-important circadian rhythm mentioned above. To remedy this, and improve your sleep for better mental health, be sure to turn off screens well ahead of your nightly bedtime and avoid the temptation to turn the back on by keeping televisions, tablets, and cell phones out of your room.

Take Care With Diet Choices, Especially During Evenings

If you mostly consume an inflammatory diet, studies suggest that you could be unintentionally throwing off your sleep patterns, and impacting your mental health in general. Refined carbohydrates, processed foods and red meat can all make inflammation and sleep issues worse, so consider eliminating problematic foods from your diet to see if your sleep quality improves.

Improving the quality of your sleep should be one of the first steps you take to manage your mental health. If these tips don’t help, or you are still having issues dealing with your emotions, it may be time to seek the advice of a mental or physical health professional. Your health, your happiness, and even your life can all depend on getting the sleep you need.

Author:

Cheryl Conklin
Wellness Central
cheryl.conklin@wellnesscentral.info
www.wellnesscentral.info

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Posted by Professor Pete Alexander

A seasoned professional with over 30 years of Sales and Marketing experience, Pete has battled the negative effects of stress head-on and has developed the LIGHTEN™ stress relief model that motivates his peers to take action and overcome their self-imposed barriers to success using clever yet simple tools and techniques.

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