15 Mar Sweet dreams, sleep well…
Today is World Sleep Day. It is an annual event, intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep.
As we all know, there is a close relationship between sleep and mental health. Living with a mental health affects how well you sleep and can have a negative impact on your mental health. We’ve all been there… Poor sleep leads to worrying. Worrying leads to poor sleep. Worrying about sleep is like your mind trying to fight itself. What a horrible place to be!
Sadly, poor sleep can lead to having negative thoughts, feel depressed or anxious & you may feel less able to rationalise worries or irrational thoughts. It can make you feel lonely or isolated and if you feel tired you may not want to be sociable or see friends.
Here’s some tips and ideas to help you enjoy a good night’s sleep. Not everything listed will work for you, so it’s finding what is best:
- Routine, routine, routine
Establish a regular sleeping pattern by going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every day. Make sure you go to bed, only when you feel tired enough to sleep, preparing your brain and body for sleep, letting yourself know that it’s time to wind down. Then in the morning set a time to get up and stick to it no matter what.
- As Frankie would say ‘RELAX’
You may find that a relaxation routine before you go to bed, will help you prepare for sleep. Enjoy something calming – such as listening to relaxing music or having a bath. Visualisation is a great technique, picturing a scene or landscape that has pleasant memories for you. How about muscle relaxation? Consciously 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, switching each one off as you move up your body – getting heavier and heavier.
- Are you sleeping comfortably?
Is your sleep environment comfortable? Work out what suits you the best with regards to temperature, light and noise levels. Generally speaking, dark, quiet and cool environments generally make it easier to sleep.
- Dear Diary…
If you’re finding it difficult to work out what’s affecting your sleep, why not keep a sleep diary? Record information about your sleep habits to help you understand your sleep problem and what’s affecting it, for example: What time you go to bed / wake up in the morning, total number of hours of sleep & if you wake up in the night? Your overall quality of sleep and if you whether you have nightmares or if sleep walk? Make a note on if you’re on any medication. Note what food you’ve eaten, what you’ve had to drink.
By doing this, it will help you identify anything in your life that’s causing you stress or worry that might be affecting your sleep. Once you’ve identified what’s causing your sleep problem, there will be measures you can put in place to address the problem.
- Switch off from the tech
Prepare your brain for sleep, enjoy some tech-free time an hour or so before bed. It has been shown that the use of bright screens on laptops and phones in evening negatively affects sleep. Why not read a book or listen to a podcast?
- Food, drink and exercise
Caffeine, alcohol and sugary foods can be enjoyable in controlled proportions, however in excessive amounts, they disturb your sleep patterns! Who has woken up with a headache because they haven’t had enough water the day before or too much sugar the night before? Try to eat a balanced diet, with treats of course, but in controlled amounts. Partaking in regular exercise will also help you sleep, it makes you physically tired! You don’t have to endure a long gym session, it could be a Pilates class, a walk or swimming.
- Enjoy a massage
If you can find the time, a massage is the perfect way to relax while someone literally kneads, pummels and rubs the stress out of you. You will be surprised at how rejuvenated you feel afterwards!
Here at Hands on at Work we’re ready to play a part, especially when it comes to keeping your people fit, well, rewarded and happy. We offer and deliver a range of relaxing and beneficial ‘at work’ massage treatments and these are valued by organisations right across the UK. To find out about costs and options please contact us directly on 07989 367669 or email firstname.lastname@example.org