Ever encounter a moody person and thought: “Well, they clearly woke up on the wrong side of the bed”? There’s a reason this saying exists, and it has everything to do with the fact that your sleep patterns have a direct impact on your mental state.
The lives we lead can be very busy. One of the first things we often neglect is rest. But when we do that, it’s not only sleep that we are neglecting, it’s our mental health too.
Throughout this article, we’ll explore the relationship between sleep and mental health and help guide and support you by providing you with simple tips on how to find a healthy balance between life and sleep.
How does sleep impact your mental health?
Sleep is when your mind shuts down and has the ability to rest and recharge. When you recharge your phone, it functions better. The same can be said for your body and mind.
With a lack of sleep, your brain goes into power-saving mode. Before you know it, you’ll begin to notice side effects that can deeply harm your temper and mental health.
What is the relationship between sleep and depression?
Depression and sleep patterns are undeniably linked.
Insomnia and other unhealthy sleep patterns have long been symptoms of depression, but research now shows that continuous lack of sleep can cause depression.
According to Hopkins Medicine, 75% of those with depression have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Another highly-praised study revealed that those with insomnia have a much higher chance of developing depression compared to those who don’t experience insomnia.
The reality, however, is that the relationship between depression and sleep patterns can feel quite cyclical. A lack of sleep leads to mental health issues, which ultimately leads to struggling to fall asleep, and the cycle continues.
But all hope is not lost. There is a way to adopt healthy sleep patterns that contribute to a happier and more wholesome version of yourself.
What is the relationship between healthy sleep habits and your well-being?
There are many mental functions that rely on optimal sleep to run efficiently. More research is needed in this area, but according to Columbia Psychiatry, “sleep helps maintain cognitive skills, such as attention, learning, and memory, such that poor sleep can make it much more difficult to cope with even relatively minor stressors and can even impact our ability to perceive the world accurately”.
What are unhealthy sleep patterns?
Here are some simple ways to assess whether you are getting enough quality sleep:
- You take longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep
- You wake up multiple times during the night on a regular basis
- You lay awake for more than 20 minutes when you wake up in the middle of the night
- You feel tired and have difficulty concentrating during the day, and rely on caffeine to get through tasks
- Your skin is breaking out and your eyes are often puffy, red or have dark circles or bags underneath them
- You feel hungry more often and have high cravings for junk food
- You have high-stress levels and feelings of anxiety
- You’re emotionally exhausted, quick to anger or highly sensitive
How to build healthy sleep habits
If you struggle with any of the above, it is time to prioritize your sleep. Here’s your plan to develop healthy sleep habits.
1. Create a consistent evening and bedtime routine
Go to bed at the same time every night and set an alarm to wake up at the same time each morning. Schedule a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night.
To get into a routine, continue to use the same times on weekends.
2. Steer clear of electronic devices
Avoid using your phone or watching TV for at least one hour before your bedtime. Try reading a book to help relax your mind and ease into sleep.
3. Avoid napping too often or for too long
Napping often throughout the day can help recharge you in small intervals however it will also cause interrupted sleep that same night. If you need to nap during the day, nap for less than 30 minutes. The golden time is 15 minutes!
4. Do physical activities
Being physically active, even if it’s going for a 30-minute walk, can help you embrace a deeper and more restorative rest. With that said, make sure that you do physical activities at least 2 hours before bed. Exercising close to your bedtime can affect your ability to fall asleep.
5. Use an eye pillow
Aromatic Eye pillows help alleviate stress and tension and help guide your mind into a space of relaxation and calm. Help your body prepare for rest by taking time to use an eye pillow. It will help you fall into a meditative state so that you can go to sleep easier.
If you have been struggling with establishing healthy sleep patterns, eye pillows are an amazing tool that helps to reduce puffiness and dry eyes so that you can feel comfortable the next day.
Pursue healthy sleep patterns to transform your life for the better
Be intentional about your bedtime routine by implementing these suggestions to unlock more restful sleep.
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