Making These Practical Changes Could Save Your Sleep and Boost Your Mental Health

It’s no secret that quality and quantity of
sleep is connected to mental health. Not only can a good night’s sleep boost
your concentration and productivity for the day, but healthy sleep habits can
strengthen cognitive function and reduce depression symptoms in the long-term.
Some studies indicate that insomnia
could even be a cause of depression.

If you’re tired of being tired all the time
and want to foster your mental health, read on for some practical changes you
can work into your daily routine.

Evaluate
your mattress.

This one may sound obvious, but your mattress
really does make a big difference in how well and how long you sleep. If you’re
waking up in the morning with back or neck pain, or waking up multiple times
throughout the night, you may need to replace your mattress. Also, if
your mattress is more than five years old, you may need to evaluate its
condition. If you do decide it’s time to get a new mattress, don’t make any
decisions unless you’ve done your research. Start with a thorough and honest
review of a popular brand like Purple and drill down to see what sleep type
it’s best suited for, the cost, firmness rating, and even potential alternatives that may end
up working better for you.

Eat
well.

What you eat on a daily basis can have a
significant impact on your physical and mental health, and as Garden of Life
explains, poor nutrition can even lead to
sleep deprivation. If you’re eating meals low in fiber but high in unhealthy
saturated fat and sugar, it can lower your sleep quality. Try honing in on a
healthy, balanced diet, and avoid eating heavy dinners that could cause indigestion and keep you up at
night. Also, avoid drinking coffee after lunch, and don’t drink excessive
amounts of alcohol before bed.

Exercise
consistently.

Are you snagging a routine workout? Johns
Hopkins Medicine explains regular exercise can help you sleep better,
and give you more energy throughout the day. Find a routine that you enjoy, and
try to do it every day. It could be running, power walking, weightlifting,
yoga, tennis, or any other type of movement that gets your endorphins flowing
and helps you burn energy. Just make sure you don’t work out too close to
bedtime; many people find that morning workout routines are best for their
sleep pattern.

Turn
your bedroom into a sanctuary.

Your bedroom should be a safe place where you
can end your day in peace and quiet. Set the tone for a good night’s sleep by
reducing the amount of noise that might disturb your sleep, such as foot
traffic and TV sounds, and replace any harsh bulbs in your bedroom with soft, dimmable bulbs. If your sleep
environment is subject to considerable external noise, like traffic, dogs
barking, loud neighbors, and the like, consider adding thick curtains and/or a
white noise machine.

Cut out
electronic screens.

You might be surprised to learn that
refraining from looking at electronic devices before bed can also improve your
sleep. Blue light emitted from things like
TVs, smartphones and tablets not only can make it more difficult to fall
asleep, it can disrupt your sleep throughout the night. This is because blue
light impedes the release of melatonin in your brain, which helps you fall into
a deep sleep. Try trading your nightly TV or computer routine for reading a
book, and see if it helps you sleep better.

Keep it
cool.

Finally, don’t keep the temperature in your
home too warm at night. When your body and bedroom temperatures are too high,
it can profoundly impact the quality and quantity of your sleep. While each
individual has their preferences, 60-67°F is generally a good range
to shoot for.

Getting enough quality sleep is essential in
fostering your mental health. If necessary, get a new mattress that meets your
needs. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and create a good bedroom
environment. Lastly, try to avoid electronic screens, and keep the temperature
in your bedroom cooler at night. Once you start sleeping better, these small
changes in your routine will prove well worth it.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

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