Don’t we all want a good night's sleep? Do you find yourself tossing and turning, unable to slow down your mind and fall asleep and stay asleep? Sleep Hygiene is a form of self care that is very important to your mental health. Lack of sleep can lead to feeling more stressed, anxious, depressed, suicidal, irritability, and poor cognitive functioning such as forgetfulness and attentiveness. We have put together the following practices for you to incorporate to improve your Sleep Hygiene:
Sleep Schedule: Stick to a sleep schedule and go to bed at the same time each night. Most adults require 6-8 hours of sleep each night. When choosing a bedtime, be sure to calculate enough rest for yourself. By sticking to this routine, your body will adjust and know each night when it is time to wind down.
Meditation / Sound Machine: Once you lay down in bed, listen to a guided meditation of at least 10-15 minutes. The guided meditation will help calm your mind and assist in quieting the thoughts as some people find that once they rest their head at night, their mind begins to race. By listening to a guided meditation, your mind will focus on the mediation and not on the racing thoughts. You can purchase a sound machine as well to turn on for the night. A sound machine creates a calming and comfortable environment.
Avoid foods and caffeine: Remove food, caffeine, and alcohol 4-6 hours prior to bedtime. Eating and drinking can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Instead, choose a warm drink such as chamomile tea or warm milk.
Exercise: Exercise plays an important role in your mental and physical health. By getting 20-30 minutes of exercise during the day will help promote a more restful nights sleep.
Electronics: Avoid any electronics at least 1 hour prior to bedtime. Instead, reach for a book or magazine as reading helps to reduce stress and anxiety, promotes a restful sleep, and assists in falling asleep faster.
Many people struggle with obtaining a restful, good night's sleep. By incorporating the tips above on a regular basis, you will find yourself waking up feeling mentally and physically rested as sleep is essential as your brain needs to rest and recuperate. At Counseling on Call, we can help integrate Sleep Hygiene practices and assist in improving your overall mental health. Contact Counseling on Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists!