Improving sleep

Watching the minutes tick by on the clock can be an extraordinarily frustrating experience for anyone who can’t get to sleep. Those nights spent staring up at the ceiling can lead to increased anxiety, irritability or leave you feeling like you are walking through life in a fog. The emotional stress of lack of sleep can also lead to poor concentration and forgetfulness. Here are five simple strategies that will lead you to improving sleep and overall mental health.

Establish a good routine. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help your body get into a more natural cycle. Your body works using a circadian rhythm. This is the normal cycle of changes in your physical and mental characteristics throughout the day. When that is disrupted, it can leave you feeling overly tired. Improving sleep with methods such as providing your body with a more regular schedule can help you get back into the sleep pattern you need.

Make your bedroom a “sleep only” zone. Limit distractions that can take the focus off of sleep. Move the television or stereo out of your room. If you like to read, try reading before going to bed.

Limit your caffeine and sugar intake before you go to bed. Drinking a Mountain Dew before trying to sleep is not a good choice. If sleep is a problem for you, then stimulants like caffeine will not improve your chances of falling asleep.

Reduce your emotional stress before trying to fall asleep. Find what helps you to relax. Does taking a hot bath help you to calm down? How about reading a book or watching a movie? Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress. Taking a walk after work can help you to shed some of the stress of the day and the natural endorphins (the body’s natural happy drug) can help improve your general mental health.

A good night’s sleep is a key to good mental health. By practicing these simple techniques for improving sleep, you’ll not only increase your mental focus and concentration, but you’ll improve your overall health as well.

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