When you’re struggling with mental health, it’s common knowledge for your sleep pattern to be affected. What many don’t realize, however, is that the reverse is also true – poor sleep can exacerbate mental health issues. In this article, Omtastic Yoga for Children and Families covers a few tips to help you achieve longer, more restorative rest.
Optimize Your Sleeping Space
Take a good look at your bedroom and evaluate whether there are ways you can update the space to help promote optimal sleep. There are a variety of measures you can take to this end, including installing blackout curtains, coming up with a new paint scheme with calming colors, and using a white noise machine. You can also invest in new, more comfortable bed linens with personalized options for throw pillows, duvet covers, and sheet sets. Some choices are made of sustainable materials and via earth-friendly production process, so you can feel good inside and out!
In addition to the many other benefits of sitting down with a good book, reading also slows the mind and helps you to relax in the period before bedtime. This is also an excellent way to expend the last morsels of mental energy that would otherwise keep your mind busy and awake. There are no rules, but we’ve found fiction to be the most effective type of literature to help you escape the stressors of daily life and displace your consciousness to other worlds.
The liquids we consume can have a surprisingly profound impact on our quality of sleep. Caffeine, for obvious reasons, should be avoided at least 3 hours before bedtime and is shown to block adenosine receptors (a sleep-promoting chemical). Reducing your intake is likely to improve sleep quality. It’s also recommended that you drink plenty of water throughout the day and in the hours leading to bedtime, as dehydration has been linked with insomnia.
It’s no secret that screens are detrimental to our sleep quality, especially when we’re placing our heads on the pillow after an hour of social media scrolling, video viewing, or gaming. The key, then, is to reduce our dependence on phones, tablets, and even TV in the later hours of the evening – there are plenty of guides online to help you kick this habit (if only for a few hours of the day). As well as better sleep quality, JAI Medical Systems notes that you may find yourself feeling more positive, optimistic and focused as a result.
If you want to disrupt your circadian rhythm, one of the easiest ways is to expose yourself to bright lights in the period before bedtime. According to Mattress Clarity, artificial blue light is amongst the most disruptive types and is emitted by many screens and common interior bulbs (such as LED or CFL). Take the time to look around your home and see if you can switch bulbs, reposition lamps, dim settings in later hours, or even try an inventive solution such as candles to create a rest-friendly atmosphere.
When we’re undergoing a stressful period at work, it’s common to bring those issues home with us and to dwell on them in the late hours. Relieving this is not always straightforward, but it can help to use a work diary – this will help you to stay organized, manage projects and acknowledge successes to help offset any feelings of inadequacy.
Sometimes, the cause of our insomnia links to more deep-set issues that can’t be dealt with by adjusting a lamp setting or changing our diets. In these instances, it may be beneficial to seek out help from a professional – therapy can help the patient to process complex emotions and past traumas and go to bed with less mental clutter.
Yoga for Relaxation
Another proven way to promote sleep is by starting a yoga practice. Even just one session can help improve mental health and produce better sleep that lasts through the night. Call on Omtastic Yoga for Children and Families to discover all the benefits that yoga can offer!
Conditions such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD often negatively affect our sleep quality, but that doesn’t mean, with the right strategies, you can’t find a solution that works for you. Adopt a proactive approach and try a few different methods, including staying hydrated and keeping a work diary, to see if you can identify the root of the problem and enjoy a less frantic, more restful night’s sleep.
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