The following article is a guest post written by Kay Carter, a freelance writer.
Sleep and mental health are connected in a way that can either be healing or turn into a miserable cycle. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate mental health symptoms, which in turn could decrease your chances of getting quality sleep. Addressing your mental health without taking measures to get a good night’s sleep could be futile, and attempting to get better sleep without treating your mental health will be similarly difficult. Here are five simple routines that you can adopt to ensure that you are getting enough sleep for your mental health.
1. Maintain a Consistent Schedule
When it comes to sleeping and waking, your body will respond well to consistency. Set a sleep schedule that allows you to get eight hours of sleep and keep a consistent bedtime and waking time. This will help your body set your circadian rhythm, or “internal clock,” and release melatonin when it’s time to wind down at night. Melatonin is a hormone that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.
2. Create a Sleep Haven
The atmosphere of your bedroom can greatly impact the quality of your sleep. Just like your parents taught you, it’s important to make your bed every morning so that it’s inviting when you’re ready to retire at night. According to House Method, sleeping in an uncluttered room can lead to a more peaceful, relaxing sleep. Remove any clutter around your sleeping area (think: clothes on the floor, bills on your desk, etc.), shut your blinds, and keep the room at a comfortable 68 degrees. You could even invest in a white noise machine to play soothing sounds as you sleep.
3. Designate a Wind-Down Period
Designate around 30 minutes before bedtime to engage in rituals that will help you relax. For instance, you could soak in a warm bath or meditate for 20 minutes. Another way you could relax is to run an essential oil diffuserwith soothing oils, such as lavender or sweet orange. Not only will the oils create a peaceful aroma, the sound of a diffuser is soft and lulling. As part of your wind-down period, you should also turn off all tech devices and completely unplug.
4. Get Your Exercise In
When exercising for the purpose of getting more quality sleep, it’s about consistency more than intensity. You don’t have to engage in highly strenuous activity to wear yourself out, but establishing a routine that provides enough exercise to release endorphins will contribute to your sleep. Walking for 30 minutes a day should be enough to rewire your brain and adjust your body systems to enjoy a better night’s sleep.
5. Be Mindful of What You Put into Your Body
In terms of affecting your overall health and well-being, not enough can be said for being aware of what you put into your body. Indulging in too many sugary foods and beverages can provide a temporary sense of satisfaction but will ultimately set your body on a cycle of highs and lows that will only make mental health symptoms worse. On the contrary, consuming nutrient-rich foods and hydrating beverages consistently will train your body to crave these things regularly and keep your blood sugar and mindset in balance.