Sleep plays an important role in your physical and mental health. From weight gain to anxiety, getting the correct amount of sleep will improve your health and wellbeing.
But what if you can’t sleep? Lying in bed with thoughts running through your head? This article will give you some tips and techniques on how to stop this exact scenario from happening.
Why is Sleep Important?
Getting enough sleep is essential for helping maintain optimal health and well-being. Sleep is as vital as regular exercise and eating healthy for improving your health and preventing anxiety.
Researchers have found that sleep has links to several brain functions, such as concentration, productivity and cognition.
This improved brain function leads to having a better athletic performance. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep is as important to athletes as eating enough calories and nutrients. Leading to more energy, better performance intensity and faster speed.
Why Sleep Helps Anxiety
A sleepless night can increase anxiety by up to 30%, more specifically deep sleep is a natural anxiety reliever.
Anxiety and sleep is bidirectional, becoming a chicken and egg problem. Meaning sleep problems can cause anxiety and anxiety can cause sleep problems.
Sleep gives your brain and body time to heal with nearly every system in your body being affected by the quality and quantity of sleep.
What to do to improve Sleep and decrease Anxiety
- Avoid blue light before bed
- Lower room temperature
- Start a schedule
- Practice Journaling
1. Avoid Blue Light Before Bed
Your phone and computer screen are affecting your circadian rhythm. The cool blue colours coming off your screen improve attention, reaction times and mood, but also are the most disruptive to your sleep.
Exposure of Light suppresses your bodies creation of melatonin, the chemical that controls your circadian rhythm. This suppression is done by all light, blue light is simply the most powerful.
To avoid this strong suppression, try to have warmer colour lights in your bedroom. This will have less of an effect on your rhythm. Other helpful tips include avoiding your phone screen 2/3 hours before bedtime and exposing yourself to loads of bright light during the day.
2. Lowering Your Room Temperature
The temperature in your room is one of the most important factors in achieving quality sleep. This is why you can find yourself having abnormal sleeping patterns in the summer, as your body struggles to keep itself at an optimum temperature for sleep.
‘Room Temperature’ or 18°C (65°F) is considered the best temperature for you to get a good nights sleep. To do this open windows if you are too warm or put another layer on your bed if too cold.
3. Start A Sleep Schedule
An inconsistent sleep schedule is putting yourself at higher risk of heart attacks and heart disease. Improving your sleep schedule can depend on what is causing the problem, some people are able to sleep easily while others need to train their internal clock.
Try to go to sleep within the same 30mins each night and wake up at roughly the same time, even on weekends and holidays!
Use your bed only for sleeping. Read, watch tv/Netflix and work somewhere else.
Go easy on alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol while making you drowsy, disturbs your sleep.
If you can’t sleep, get up and go to another room.
4. Practice Journaling
Ever been kept awake by worry? The most common reason people give for their inability to sleep is they can’t stop thinking.
An effective way to stop this thinking is start journaling. With studies having comparable improvements in fall asleep time to pharmaceutical trials.
Sometimes just getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper can improve your sleep quality.
Get started journaling by downloading Comh for free.
Getting a good night’s sleep has untold benefits to both your mental and physical state. Allowing you to be more attentive, happy and ready for the day.