Turn2Me, a national mental health charity, has published five tips for improving your sleep on their website, Turn2Me.ie. According to the charity, the quality of sleep affects many aspects of our lives, including our mood, physical health, and mental health.
Turn2Me’s Molly Doyle said: Contributes to brain neuroplasticity and stress immune pathways and thus to mental health problems. It’s not uncommon for people to struggle with sleep in tandem with mental health issues or during difficult times in life. So I hope these 5 tips are helpful for anyone experiencing poor sleep quality. “
Molly recommends the following sleep therapy tips:
It is well documented that exercise improves sleep. Physical and mental exercises such as yoga and vigorous strength training can help a lot. Resistance and strength training, such as weight sessions and high-intensity workouts at the gym, are beneficial. Also, slow movements and body positioning, when combined with breathing and relaxation, are great exercises for the mind and body. Yoga and Pilates are examples.
Studies have shown that one of the reasons exercise is so beneficial is its effect on skin temperature. Insomnia impairs thermoregulatory function. Strenuous exercise also increases levels of hormones involved in sleep regulation. Additionally, aerobic, resistance, and meditation exercises can help reduce psychophysiological arousal by reducing anxiety and depression.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is often recommended for insomnia, such as mindfulness and meditation. We recommend starting slowly with meditation and mindfulness exercises. This is a skill that takes practice and patience. Another lesser-known solution is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Tai Chi, acupuncture, and acupressure. This treatment is especially popular in Asia. Mindfulness is currently the most successful along with other therapies. Not only will you sleep longer, but the quality of your sleep will improve as well.
3. Concept of sleep hygiene
Sleep hygiene includes a set of behavioral and environmental factors and modifications to improve sleep quality. Reducing stressors may seem like an obvious solution, but it is often overlooked. You may feel stress when you try.
Examples of poor sleep hygiene include:
nap at least twice a week
Inconsistent bedtime and wake-up time.
Spending long hours in bed frequently (more than once a week).
Regular use of caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco before bed.
Do high-intensity exercise just before bed.
Engaging in exciting or emotionally upsetting activities too close to bedtime.
Frequent use of bed for activities other than sleep (watching TV, reading, studying, snacking, etc.)
Sleeping on uncomfortable beds (poor quality mattresses, inappropriate blankets, etc.).
Is your bedroom too bright, too stuffy, cluttered, too hot, or too cold? It is not conductive to sleep.
Do activities that require a high level of concentration right before bed.
4. Sleep Diary
Starting a sleep diary can help you record behaviors that can help or interfere with your sleep, such as meals, activities, and lights. A good sleep routine can help, for example, keeping a consistent wake-up time in the morning and using only your room. You are going to sleep to sleep, not to work.
Diet has been found to be closely related to sleep quality and mental health. Increased intake of vegetables, fruit, fish, water, and fiber was associated with better sleep quality, while processed meat and milk intake may impair sleep and mental health.
To sign up for Turn2Me’s free mental health support services, visit Turn2Me.ie.
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