Quick tips for better sleep
Turn gadgets off at least 30 minutes before wanting to go to sleep The brain is affected by the brightness of our gadgets, when we are in the darkness it reads it as daylight, this then creates difficulties in getting to sleep.
Meditate where you can in the day, even just 2/5 minutes sitting, closing your eyes and letting your mind wander, completely unwind and empty the mind for reducing stress and anxiety
Eat fresh foods in the day and drink water. This will help to have a better nights sleep as processed foods, sugars and caffeine can all affect sleep.
Drink less alcohol (drinking alcohol sends you to sleep quickly as it induces sleep BUT it significantly reduces rapid eye movement/REM, this is the stage where we dream and is thought to be restorative.
Avoid daytime napping (if possible)
Create your room into a sleep haven (clean bedding, dark and quiet, calming scents in the room, ultra-comfy bedding and mattress)
Use headspace app for night time sleeping or find some relaxing sleep app with calming hypnotic sounds (these can usually be set on a timer so they turn off automatically)
Having some form of exercise in your day can help the quality and duration of sleep, and also reduces stress levels.
Connections between sleep and our mental health
Whilst sleeping, we go through four stages of intensifying deep sleep. Our muscles begin to unconsciously and deeply relax, as our breathing slows. A good nights sleep begins to have a positive effect on our long term mental health and also the immune system. Those that suffer sleep deprivation have an increased chance of developing depression and or anxiety or it can heighten these if they are pre-existing conditions. There have been stages in my life where I would get into bad sleep routines which then can become a habit, it’s recognising this and then applying the suggestions above that can break that cycle. So be kind to yourself and allow the body the time to have some good restorative restful sleep.
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I have a wealth of experience with a diverse client base and problems working with adolescence in the NHS GP surgery as well as adults and teenagers in my private practice. I am also an anxiety approved therapist.