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Mental Health

The Importance of Quality Sleep for Your Mental Health

Ever heard the phrase “sleep when you’re dead”? Living in a fast paced, go-go-go society leads to this mentality that sleep is for the weak and there’s no time for it. The fact of the matter is, quality sleep will affect both your physical and mental health, so it’s pretty important to get those hours of rest!

Whitney Barkman - The Importance of Quality Sleep for your Mental Health
— The Importance of Quality Sleep

Sleep issues have long been associated with mental health issues, but it was always as a side effect of them. Now more is known about how sleep is actually affecting your mental health, not the other way around. 

A consistent lack of quality sleep affects the part of your brain that regulates emotions. Due to fatigue, you can struggle with your ability to control your emotions which leads to stronger feelings of negativity which can further impact your sleep patterns. And the cycle goes on.

Sleep deprivation not only leads to more negative emotions but also mood swings and more erratic behaviour.

Whitney Barkman - The Importance of Quality Sleep for your Mental Health
— Sleep Quality and Depression

When it comes to depression, sleep is a funny thing. You can feel like you’re sleeping all the time when you’re feeling depressed. You experience a lack of energy and motivation that leads to lethargy and sleeping more than usual. But this sleep isn’t a good quality sleep hence why you end up feeling consistently tired. Sleeping too much can be just as detrimental as sleeping too little.

— How to Improve Sleep Quality

Here are a few tips I love that ensure sleep is restful and deep:

  • Stop the use of screens at least 30 minutes before bed to allow your mind to wind down.
  • Spend 5-10 minutes doing slow and gentle holding stretches which will loosen your body.
  • Meditate or spend 5 minutes deep breathing to calm both your body and mind.
  • Reduce sugar intake throughout your day but especially in the afternoon and evening as this can disrupt your sleep.
  • Create a bedroom oasis. Calm colours, quiet space, curtains or blinds to ensure darkness.
  • Don’t work in bed. Make sure your body and mind know that your bed is for sleeping!
  • When you wake up in the morning or when you’re alarm goes off, get up! Hitting snooze or dozing can actually make you feel more tired than if you get up a bit earlier. 

Do you feel you get at least 8 hours of deep and restful sleep? What are some tips you can try to improve your sleep quality?

Love & Light
Whitney