Your alarm goes off at 6 a.m. like it does every morning and you have to get up to get ready for work but you’re just not feeling it. You hit the snooze button 4 times because it takes 20 minutes to get up. You think “I just slept all night, why am I still tired?”. There are several answers to that question. There are many factors that go into sleep quality. It could be poor night time habits or something deeper. Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Bipolar disorder and more mental health issues can impact your sleep habits.
According to Harvard Medical School “the overlap between sleep disorders and various psychiatric problems is so great that researchers have long suspected both types of problems may have common biological roots.”. Lack of sleep and mental health problems can be a vicious cycle. When one is affecting you the other can get worse because of it. Studies have shown that sleep problems usually occur before a diagnosis of depression. A good night’s sleep can help improve your memory, mental and emotional health. So how do we improve our sleep habits?
- Set a routine
- Try to go to bed at the same time every night
- Limit caffeine intake 6 hours before bed (or totally)
- Decaffeinated or herbal tea is a great replacement
- Sleep in a clean room without a TV or computer
- A room free from distractions is best
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Meditation or progressive muscle relaxation may help
- Increase physical activity
- Aerobic activity helps reach a deeper more sound sleep
If you do wake up in the middle of the night and you are just not tired it is best to not check your phone or turn on the TV as tempting it may be. Instead try to repeat your relaxation techniques. If all else fails it might be time to reset by getting out of bed. This can remind your body that it is still night time when you go into another room and it is still dark. After setting these habits you may find yourself sleeping longer and waking up more refreshed.
If you are having trouble sleeping and are concerned about its effect on your mental health feel free to contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. We are located at 6819 W. 167th Street in Tinley Park, IL 60477. We can be reached at (708) 633-8000.