Remember when our parents used to tell us “you grow in your sleep”? They were right. A lack of sleep early on can disrupt the level of hormones in our brain, resulting in growth problems. Good sleep should start when you are young, and at any age it is very important to get a good night’s sleep.
We all know a lack of sleep can be painful, especially when trying to get through the day. Poor sleep not only produces problems with mood, productivity, performance, physical health, but it also increases the risk for mental health problems like depression and anxiety. Sleep plays a big role on our mental health and psychological state. It sets the stage for a healthy lifestyle and it is just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Sleep is the engine to life – it helps with energy, concentration, builds immune system, enhances learning and memory, and contributes to emotional health.
Studies using different methods and populations estimate that 65% to 90% of adult patients with major depression, and about 90% of children with this disorder experience some kind of sleep problem (Harvard Mental Health Letter, 2019), insomnia or hypersomnia. Research suggests that treating sleep disorders may help alleviate symptoms of co-occurring mental health problems. So here are great tips for a good night’s sleep:
Take a Sleep Condition Indicator Quiz to help find out what is causing you to not have a good night’s sleep and start figuring out ways to improve it.
Tips for a Goodnight’s Sleep:
Establish a consistent bedtime. With that being said, it's obviously (for many people) easier said than done. Listen to your body when creating your sleep schedule. Keep it consistent and make sure you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep nightly. Decide on a bedtime – you need to plan ahead to ensure you are home and in bed by this time.
Avoid stimulating activity before bedtime. Keep smartphones, tablets, and other devices out of the bedroom at night. These devices emit “blue light” that interferes with the bodies ability to release melatonin, which reduces alertness and makes sleep more inviting.
Block your Clock. Put your alarm clock in a drawer, under your bed, or turn it away from view. Glancing at night can make your mind race with thoughts about the day to come, which can keep you awake.