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4 Ways to Boost Sleep Habits And Mental Health

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You can immediately tell when you didn’t get enough sleep. You feel sluggish, you can’t stop yawning, your mood tanks, and your energy is depleted. However, it seems a lack of sleep doesn’t just have physical impacts – it has mental impacts, too, such as worsening anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. On the flip side, many mental health concerns can contribute to insomnia, resulting in an unhealthy vicious circle.

Sleep isn’t a cure-all, but when it comes to your mental health, it certainly helps. This is why good sleep habits are so important. If you’re looking for how to get your sleep back on track, check out these four ways to boost your sleep and your mental health.

  1. Question your mattress. Your mattress might be the first thing you blame for your lack of sleep, and it could potentially be the culprit, or at the very least a contributing factor. If you can’t describe your mattress as comfortable, or you find yourself tossing, turning, and waking up in pain, it’s time to get a new one. Besides, you’re supposed to replace it at least every 10 years. Similarly, your pillows and sheets have a two-year expiration date, so now might be the time for a complete bed refresh. There are plenty of mattress options available, but you might consider the “bed-in-a-box” type. One you’ve probably seen on both television and social media is the Purple mattress. As far as cost, it falls somewhere in the middle (not budget but not luxury) with the cost ranging from $699 to $1,299 depending on the size, and it suits most sleep types (back, stomach and side).
  2. Put down the caffeine. For many of us, caffeine is a go-to for getting through the morning, afternoon, and maybe even the evening, but all that caffeine can have a negative impact on your sleep. For starters, according to SleepScore Labs, caffeine takes an average of six or more hours to leave your system, which is why you might feel wide awake at bedtime if you sipped caffeinated beverages late into the afternoon.

Caffeine also increases your adrenaline, leaving you feeling wired and restless, and disrupts your sleep-wake cycle. So, what should you do if you need a boost during the day? Consider alternatives that contain natural energy boosters and stimulants, such as green tea, matcha tea, or lemon water.

  1. Sweat more. As Shape explains, sleep and exercise have a mutually-beneficial relationship. An intense workout leaves you feeling the good kind of tired, helping you fall into a deeper sleep so that your body can repair tissues and replenish your energy. On the opposite side, that deep sleep ensures you are ready to tackle your next workout, with stronger muscles and increased energy.

If you’re looking for a workout to really push yourself, improve your self-confidence, and ensure that you leave feeling good and tired, CrossFit is worth a try. This type of workout builds camaraderie, improves self-esteem, and helps you reach your fitness goals. On top of all that, it appears to improve the mental health of those with issues such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

  1. Get into a sleep routine. We all tend to have routines for everything, whether it’s for getting ready in the morning, school, work, or exercise, but do you have a sleep routine? American Heart Association explains bedtime routines aren’t just for kids. You have to prep your mind and body for sleep.

Think about what would relax you, and do it at the same time each night. That could be taking a warm bath, reading, sipping herbal tea, meditating, or journaling. When it gets close to bedtime, turn off the electronics and dim the lights. If you need noise to sleep, use a sound machine or listen to a podcast rather than letting the blue light from the television disturb your sleep.

Sleep and mental health go hand-in-hand. Thankfully, getting them both back on track is quite easy. Whether it’s your mattress that needs to go, caffeine is the culprit, it’s time to hit the gym, or you need to switch up your routine, take steps to get your sleep and mental health back on track.

-Cheryl Conklin
Wellness Central