27 Dec Having Restless Nights? How Better Sleep Can Boost Your Wellness
It’s impossible to deny the connection between how we feel emotionally and physically, and how much sleep we get. A poor night’s sleep can affect our mental health negatively and habitual lack of deep rest can have devastating effects. To try and improve the state of our mental well-being, we need to first examine how well we sleep at night.
What to Consume
Many of us know that what we eat and drink affects nearly every aspect of our lives. If you’re having difficulty sleeping, try foods with magnesium and potassium. These include whole grains, dark leafy greens, squash, beans and berries. Calcium relaxes muscles and regulates melatonin at the same time. Dairy, nuts and some fish are rich in calcium, so make sure you add these to your meals. Cut back on stimulants, especially later in the day. Caffeine and sugar can impede sleep and disrupt our wake-sleep cycle by keeping our brains active. Avoid foods that cause indigestion for you, as these may also keep you from reaching deep sleep. An elevated body temperature signals your brain that it’s time to be awake, so don’t eat a large meal before bed, as the digestion process raises your temperature.
Letting Go of Stress
Stress creates a negative cycle that can be difficult to break. Feeling anxious at night can lead to disrupted sleep, which can create stress during the day. Stress can increase likelihood of depression, especially when combined with lack of rest. Thus, it’s vital to us to learn how to relax, especially after work in the evening.Breathing exercises can provide relief from stress by forcing our bodies to relax by lowering our blood pressure and helping us to focus on something other than our worries. Inhale deeply while counting, hold your breath for a longer count, and then exhale slowly, still counting.
Meditation can be another useful tool to help let go of the day’s stresses. Guided imagery is a good gateway into meditation, as it does not rely on pure concentration, but a soothing recording to help us. Find a method that works for you and use it daily.
Transform Your Bedroom
Our bedrooms should be sanctuaries from the rest of the world. If nowhere else, it should be the one place we can really let go of our troubles and rest. However, if the condition saren’t right, it can make that nearly impossible. Light can keep our minds active and inhibit deep sleep, so invest in good blackout curtains to get your body ready for a good night of rest. Noisy neighbors, or outdoor noise, can also interfere with how well we rest.
A noise machine can keep us in deep sleep, and there is nothing like a good mattress to making us feel comfortable. Your room should be cool to encourage your body to prepare for bedtime, and using fabric that breathes well on our sheets and pajamas can aid this. Keeping your bedroom clear of clutter can help our minds stay easy, which in turn lets us continue to be relaxed.
Create a Routine
Having a routine at night can be what we need to sleep well regularly. Going to bed at the same time, and waking up at the same hour, can trick our bodies into getting sleepy at night. Part of your routine should also include getting sunligh teach day, as this is one of the best ways to regulate our circadian rhythm naturally. Try not to break up your days with long naps. While quick naps can help us refresh ourselves, long naps may interrupt the schedule we have built, and keep us from sleeping well at night. It may seem strict, but keeping our schedule is one of the best ways to ensure a good night of rest.
Mental health is a key aspect of one’s overall well-being. We need to look after not only our bodies, but also our minds and spirits. If you have been feeling down lately, and have not been sleeping well, practice a few of the steps above. Transform your room into your own relaxing haven, to see if that helps improve how you feel physically and emotionally.
By Cheryl Conklin