The original theme for this years #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek (before Covid-19) was Sleep. I thought it was still a good topic to cover, and whilst kindness is a great topic, the effects of sleep on your mental health is also an important topic to cover. So I thought I’d dedicate one of my posts this week to sleep.
I’m the first person to hold my hands up and say that I either don’t sleep enough, or struggle with a “sleep routine”. It’s one of those things since I was a child I’ve struggled with. There’s an element of #FOMO attached to my sleep pattern (fear of missing out), and then there’s the workaholic in me that interrupts my pattern.
I do try and keep a sleep pattern, but this lockdown and out of work situation a lot of us are in at the minute has made it difficult to maintain a pattern. I’m currently writing this at half past 11 at night. If I were working, I’d be in bed by now.
What are the benefits of a good sleep pattern?
- Reduced stress levels
- Help with out emotional well-being
- Reduced anxiety
- A reduction in our negative thoughts.
Let’s be honest, I’m no psychologist or sleep pattern expert, so I can only speak from my own personal experiences. Good job I write a blog…
I know that when I have a bad nights sleep, or if my sleeping pattern goes off, my mental health takes a turn. I find my anxiety spikes first, but it’s never long before my depression kicks back in, which is why I make a conscious effort to keep to some sort of pattern.
What do I do?
It doesn’t have to be a perfect pattern, let’s face it. Life get’s in the way, things happen, but there’s a few things I make sure I do before going to bed which I think have helped.
1. Stop looking at my phone at least half an hour before.
2. I spend 5 minutes in silence.
3. I try to reflect positively on my day
4. Invested in blackout curtains (I have a streetlight directly outside my bedroom window)
5. I try to aim for 7-8 hours a night
These few things I’ve found have helped my sleep. I don’t have a set time I go to bed, just because of work commitments but whether it’s 9pm or midnight, I try to keep to these 5 things.
I understand it’s easier said than done sometimes but developing some sort of pattern really does help with your sleep cycle, and there’s no better feeling to me than having a really good nights rest.
Let me know if you’ve got any tips to help build a pattern or sleep routine, it’d be really good to hear from other people and what you do.
Take care, stay safe. (and get a good nights sleep)
James. aka Anothermaleblogger