Recently I’ve been thinking about how I incorporate the 6 ways (click here if you’re unsure what I mean!) into my everyday life. I settled on Be healthy as a means of practising self-care to help with my mental health.
In this article I want to include my favourite sleep hygiene tips, as I believe that the quality of your sleep determines how your day will go. If you wake up tired, you’re likely to have a lazy day and not be very productive, which can negatively impact on your mental health. Here are my top tips that I try and practice in order to have a good day.
Create a calming sleep environment
One hour to two hours before I want to sleep, I start to create a calming self-environment. By this, I mean turning down the lights, so I just have enough light to watch TV or read a book. If I have any audio playing, it is quiet, and I turn the brightness down on my devices. Don’t get me wrong, I know I shouldn’t be using devices before bed, I sometimes just find it too hard to stick to, so by allowing myself these modifications it works towards a more sustainable sleep goal. I also get into bed to signal to my body that it is nearly time to sleep, rather than sitting at my desk or in the kitchen.
Plan out your evening
If you live with friends, then let them know you are trying to create a better sleeping pattern. You can maybe ask them if they can be a bit quieter in the evening, so you aren’t tempted to go and hang out with them when you are supposed to creating your calming environment. If you are hanging out with them before bed, make sure you tell them when you are leaving to get ready to sleep and be firm on this, so you aren’t pressured into staying up with them and not going to sleep early enough. This can be tough, but you will thank yourself in the morning when you wake up refreshed!
Make sure that you are wearing the right clothes for the weather! If you are finding it hard to get to sleep, check you are not too hot or too cold. Open a window or turn up the heating or change your clothes. I’ve tossed and turned for a couple of hours, but when I changed into a short sleeve top from a long sleeve top, I fell asleep almost immediately. Temperature is so important when sleeping.
If you can’t get to sleep because of your thoughts racing around your head, try listening to a podcast. I personally cannot sleep without listening to one! It means that your mind can concentrate on something else without worrying about the amount of sleep you’re going to miss out on or worrying about anything else. There are many podcasts out there, from true crime to educational ones to comedy. Choose your pick. I guarantee there is something out there for you.
I hope these tips help you as much as they’ve helped me to have an invigorating night’s sleep, which has helped my mental health endless amounts.