Sleep, regardless of age, is extremely important to a healthy lifestyle and should not be taken lightly. It is a basic and fundamental human requirement and has restorative functions. We need a good night’s rest to ensure we’re feeling fit, thinking sharply and generally to give us the appetite and enthusiasm to make the most of everyday living.
How Is Sleep Linked To Mental Health?
Closely! Sleep deprivationcan affect mental health, but mental health problems can also affect how well you sleep – both the quantity and the quality of it – so it’s extremely important to address both issues. Any health professional will always enquire about both mood and sleep behaviour when making any kind of diagnosis. Deprivation has a negative effect on physical and emotional ability. Sleep has an important restorative function in ‘recharging’ the brain at the end of each day but also giving us the ability to manage and cope. Keeping a regular sleep-wake pattern allows the natural rhythm of the body to be reset every day and therefore optimises brain functioning.
How Can We Ensure The Best Sleep Possible?
- Make sure your bedroom is the right environment (cool, dark and quiet)
- Your bed is comfortable and supportive
- Avoid foods and drinks that can hinder sleep
- Avoid screen time at least an hour before bed
- Find alternative ways of relaxing like warm baths with calming scents, quiet soothing music, reading, gentle stretching and yoga
It’s important to establish a regular pattern – going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time. Your bodies and minds will feel much better for it.