So it’s no secret on this blog that I suffer from Anxiety, I’ve been quite open about that because I feel that it’s an important subject to talk about and needs a Hell of a lot more understanding and compassion from people towards anxiety sufferers. I know that you’ve been told how important Sleep is since you were little, it’s why our Parents made us go to bed by 7 pm as a child and why we were told to always get 7-8 hours solid sleep a night (no that doesn’t include the time it takes you to fall asleep – which is a super long time for some of us, whereas my Husband is asleep and snoring within 3 minutes of turning out the light!). It’s so much more important than just “Beauty Sleep”. We all can have some nights where it takes us longer than usual to fall asleep; we have a big test or a huge Corporate presentation in the morning and so our brains won’t shut off to go to sleep. But if you suffer from Anxiety then that can be more of a Catch 22: you need the sleep to help keep your stress and anxiety levels down BUT your anxiety and stress doesn’t allow you to fall asleep and sleep disorders are especially common among those who suffer from Anxiety and depression. There are ways to ensure that you are getting a good night’s sleep though.
- Sleep Schedule: Exactly what it sounds like, Go to bed at the same time every night, even on weekends and then your body gets in to a routine of knowing when it’s time to start winding down and feeling tired.
- No screen time: This is a really big one, we’re so connected 24/7 to our many devices: smartphones, computers, tablets, Televisions. The blue light that emanates from the screens of all these things actually suppresses the production of melatonin which is what your body needs to get sleepy. Staring at screens in bed, even if you’re just reading a book on your Kindle, can severely interfere with your sleep cycle and cause you to e unable to fall asleep. Also watching exciting or funny TV shows/ movies before bed is going to keep you awake because your brain is awake and fully engaged. All screen time should be shut off at least 2 hours before you are going to switch off the lights to sleep. Try to make your bedroom a screen-free environment and remove TV’s and screen devices so your room becomes a place of relaxation and not one of work/ social media.
- No caffeine. This is an obvious one, right? It takes approximately 6 hours for just half of the caffeine you consume to be eliminated from your body. So really, that first cup of Joe you drink in the morning should be your only coffee that day. This includes black teas and fizzy pop drinks like Coca Cola too.
- Invest in a great mattress and pillows. My Mum always used to say to me that you spend a decent amount of money on Shoes and your Mattress because you’ll spend half your life in each. A mattress that is too soft or too hard and doesn’t support your back properly will not give you a good night’s sleep and you’ll have body aches and pains to boot. Same goes for pillows, make sure that your pillows are the best you can get, they’re not that expensive to buy, but your neck NEEDS that support. They also need to be replaced every so often because they’ll loose the support over time/ usage.
Sleep is important, it’s how we function, without good sleep our mental health suffers as well as our physical health. So make sure that you’re treating it with the importance that it deserves.