Obtaining healthy sleep is important for both our physical and mental health.
Stress and anxiety can impact your life in many ways, including negatively affecting the quality of your sleep. Experts recommend adults 18 to 64 years of age get about 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35.2 percent of adults in the United States are getting less than 7 hours of sleep each night.
Although occasional sleep interruptions are generally no more than a nuisance, ongoing lack of sleep can lead to excessive daytime fatigue, emotional difficulties, and poor job performance. Common side effects of not getting enough sleep can include:
- Depressed mood
- Difficulty learning new concepts
- Inability to concentrate or a “fuzzy” head
- Lack of motivation
Obtaining healthy sleep is important for both our physical and mental well being and improves productivity and overall quality of life. The way you feel while you're awake depends in part on how well you slept the night before. If you are having trouble sleeping, consider the following tips:
Exercise - The more vigorouly you exercise during the day, the more powerful the sleep benefits will be.
Avoid - stimulants such as alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine. Also try to avoid eating spicy or heavy meals for two to three hours before bedtime.
Limit screen time - The blue light emitted by your phone, tablet, computer, or TV is especially disruptive.
Postpone worrying and brainstorming - Have racing thoughts before bed? Write them down and don't think about them again till the next day.
Wind down - Meditation, deep breathing exercises, stretching, or reading before bed can counter anxiety and racing thoughts.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy - can improve your sleep by changing your behavior before bedtime as well as changing the ways of thinking that keep you from falling asleep. It also focuses on improving relaxation skills and changing lifestyle habits that impact your sleeping patterns.
If you’re still having trouble sleeping - Don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or to find a sleep professional. There could be an undiagnosed sleep disorder or could suggest a medical condition.