We all know first-hand what it feels like to have a night of bad sleep wreak havoc on our mental state the following day. It'll come as no surprise that sleep and our mental and emotional well-being go hand in hand. Feeling stressed can cause a disrupted night of sleep, which can be followed by feeling drained, more anxious, or irritable the next day. On the other hand, feeling good and having a positive mindset are actually associated with better quality sleep.
When we begin our journey of self-healing, improving our sleep habits is a great place to start. Sleep your way to mental wellness with our top tips...
Why Sleep is Critical for Mental Wellness
Sleep is so important for good mental and physical health, but what happens to our mind and body when we don’t get enough?
- Sleep loss and disturbed sleep slows down your brain function
- It decreases your working memory and makes it hard to focus
- It can lower your ability to understand where others are coming from and make you more likely to assume negative intentions
- Poor sleep can decrease motivation
- Sleep loss can make you more likely to crave unhealthy foods
- It can lower your self-regulation, which can make it harder to live according to your values
- Lack of sleep can disrupt our hormones
- Sustained sleep loss can have a severe impact on your long-term physical health and make you more likely to become ill
Sleep and Depression & Anxiety
Anyone suffering from a mental health problem like anxiety or depression knows how hard it can be to get a good quality sleep. But did you know that sleep deprivation and sleep disorders can make it more difficult to cope with mental disorders? Poor-quality sleep can zap your energy, negatively affect your emotional state and otherwise worsen mental health issues.
Seasonal Affective Disorder and Sleep
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of recurring depression with a seasonal pattern. As summer turns into autumn and winter, the temperature drops and the hours of sunlight decrease. These changes can trigger symptoms of depression that aren’t noticeable at other times during the year.
How to Improve your Sleep Quality
The good news is, improving your sleep habits can have a very positive effect on your mental health and will make it easier for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The first step in improving our sleep usually involves a variety of lifestyle and habit changes;
Buy a New Mattress
It’s not always obvious that a mattress is the culprit behind poor-quality sleep. If you’ve had your mattress for a long time, you may have become accustomed to the discomfort it creates. But an old mattress can harm your sleep more than you may think! Consider treating yourself to a new bed that supports your body in all the right ways.
Before mattress shopping, take some time to learn about different types of mattresses and your preferred sleep styles. For example, our memory foam mattresses come in a variety of foam types and styles and are available at a wide range of price points.
Transform Your Bedroom into a Sleep Haven
Getting a new mattress isn’t the only way to improve your sleep environment. To create a calming, stress-free bedroom and to set yourself up for a good sleep, we recommend getting blackout blinds or a comfortable eye mask since even small amounts of light from outside can disrupt your sleep. Strive to keep your bedroom as quiet as possible with the help of earplugs.
Temperature is also important to consider in your bedroom since our bodies need cooler temperatures to fall asleep. Invest in a fan to keep the fresh air flowing and stick to natural, breathable materials for your bedding so they won’t trap heat. Our innovative CoolMax memory foam mattress collection will keep you cool even on the warmest of nights.
Relax Before Trying to Sleep
You may find a relaxation routine can help you prepare for sleep. These are some ideas you could try;
Do something calming
This could be listening to relaxing music or having a bath.
Tense and relax your muscles, one after the other, starting with your toes and working up your body until you reach the top of your head.
Picture a scene or landscape that has pleasant memories for you, or that you imagine would be a calming or peaceful place to be.
Some people find it helps to try meditation techniques, like mindfulness. You could learn these from guides or sleep and meditation apps such as Headspace.
Practice a Bedtime Routine
A good bedtime routine is an excellent way to tell your brain it’s time to start winding down for sleep. Try relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, taking a hot bath, making a light snack, doing a gentle yoga routine, going for a walk, or reading a good book. If you’re having trouble with negative or intrusive thoughts when your head hits the pillow, try listening to a podcast to keep your mind occupied while you drift off. Sometimes simply changing your focus can be enough to help you drift off.
Get on a Regular Sleep Schedule
Inconsistent sleep schedules can confuse and disrupt our internal body clocks—these clocks play an important role in making us feel sleepy at night and awake during the day. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will help you to fix your sleep schedule and sync your internal clock.
Fill in a Sleep Diary
You may find it difficult to work out what's affecting your sleep. A sleep diary involves recording information about your sleep habits to help you understand your sleep problem and what's affecting it.
A sleep diary could include information about;
- What time you go to bed and what time you get up
- Total number of hours of sleep, or a rough idea if you're not sure
- Overall quality of sleep, ranked 1–5
- How many times you wake up in the night, how long you're awake and what you do while you're awake
- Whether you sleep during the day and for how long
- The amount of caffeine, alcohol or nicotine you have
- The amount of physical activity you do
- What you eat and drink
- Your general feelings and moods
Make sure your sleeping environment isn’t affecting your mental wellness. Browse our collection of memory foam mattresses to find the perfect mattress for healthy sleep.