Mental Health

Sleep Helps Everything

First off, welcome to my first Mental Health Monday post. I’m super excited to start this new project and I hope all of you are excited as well!

Overall, I’m sure you’ve heard all your life to get a minimum of 8 hours or however much sleep people have told you to get. I have insomnia. I understand sometimes that is the hardest thing in the world to do.

For me, everything about me is better when I get consistent sleep and everything is a million times worse when I’m not getting consistent sleep.

Get on a sleep schedule

Nothing happens over night but get your body used to trying. I understand there are a lot of jobs out there that your schedule is everywhere. I lucked out and now I work 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. This means I could pretty easily set myself up for a consistent sleep schedule instead of working random days and random hours.

Night Routine

To start getting on that schedule, just do it slowly. Try to get a night routine going. I’m not saying a million things in a beauty regimen or anything like that. Overall, just get into a night routine that you can get into. Normally, I get home. We have dinner. We watch a couple TV shows. Now? I’m usually ready to sleep by 9:30 or 10. I’ll brush my teeth. Take care of the cats. Then I’ll lay down. I no longer wait for Zach to go to bed on week nights.

Lay down the same time every night

This is a big one. Lay down roughly the same time most nights. On weekends I usually stay up an hour or a few later but I also wake up slightly later. This will help you get your body into a “I need to sleep” mode.

Put away the electronics

Usually, I’m at the computer until I go to bed. As soon as I lay down, my phone is put to the side and I don’t touch it (unless I’m really cold and don’t want to move… then I text Zach to bring me a blanket… <3 )

Medications can effect your sleep

In the past, I’ve always had sleep issues. When I was on Zoloft, I didn’t realize that it made my sleep worse. I couldn’t get to sleep (without additional help from insomnia medication) and I didn’t really get into a deep sleep. Recently, I got switched to Celexa and my sleep is so much better. Talk to your doctor if you think your medication might be hurting your sleep.

Sleep makes you feel better

No one likes to think they have a bed time. So don’t think like that. I have my body “trained” to be tired and ready to bed after months of trying to get on this schedule. Try to relax before bed. I definitely have to unwind to even attempt to get sleep. But sleep just makes you feel better overall.

I am less anxious when I get sleep. I am less likely to have a down day when I get sleep. I’m more likely to get better sleep the next night. I’m less likely to be tired or groggy all day. I’m more likely just to feel better overall.

Keep calm (or try to),

Epic

  • I completely agree. One of the first things I had to change when I was at the peak of my Anxiety was my sleep, and it made a huuuuge difference. I’ve also found yoga (especially before bed) to be extremely helpful in keeping me (mostly) anxiety-free. 🙂

  • Great tips! After 34 years my body and more importantly my brain seems to be feeling tired at around midnight rather than 2.00pm-3.00pm. I like the idea of getting into a bedtime routine so you are in the right mindset to begin with. I’ve found not having any kind of caffeine or energy drinks after 4.00pm helps. It sounds like you have cracked the 9-5 thing as well, which is half the battle!

    • Thank you! I usually don’t have too much caffeine after I get home from work… But I do drink sweet tea. I’ve noticed I absolutely cannot have green tea a few hours before bed, but regular iced tea I’m fine with. Energy drinks make me sick so I don’t have to worry about that. Keeping away from electronics for an hour or so before bed allows your brain to power down a little bit, not to mention it also will lessen stress on your eyes. (:

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