cstnprapp13.centerstone.lan
Home / Health & Wellness Articles / Mental Health / How to get good sleep

How to get good sleep

man holding pillow sleeping in bed

Sleep is a vital part of every person’s daily routine as it provides a necessary recharge to your body and mind. Good sleep refreshes you, makes you feel more alert and gives you the energy you need throughout the day. Getting too little sleep will cause you to be less focused and more forgetful.

“Sleep is a necessary mood booster,” says Julie Bailey, Clinical Manager for Centerstone. “You actually process your emotions when you sleep, so getting too little sleep can make you more irritable and stressed.” Good sleep also boosts creativity, which improves self-esteem and productivity and lowers stress.

 

How long should I sleep?

We all know the golden standard of 8 hours, but is this a healthy expectation? Short answer: mostly yes, for adults. Experts say that 7-9 hours is a healthy daily amount of sleep for adults to get. These numbers increase, however, for younger groups. Teens should get 8-10 hours of sleep, school age kids 9-12 hours, pre-school age kids 10-13 hours and so on.

“These standards for sleep may vary from person to person, as some adults may truly need only 7 hours to function normally, and others need 9 or more,” says Julie Bailey. “But 7 hours of sleep should be the minimum goal for most adults.”

As previously stated, not getting enough sleep dampens your energy and mindfulness. On the other hand, getting too much sleep can do the same. Sleeping too much, say 10 hours a day, can actually make you more depressed. Depression also makes you more tired, making you want to sleep more, thus causing a vicious cycle.

While the length of time you spend asleep is important, so is the quality of your sleep. The sleep cycle works in several stages, and sleep is best when you go through each stage. Therefore, what you do before bed matters, as staying asleep helps ensure you go through each stage.

 

Optimizing sleep

Fortunately, there are several methods experts recommend for getting good sleep. Below are several recommendations to help you optimize your sleep.

  • Keep it consistent. It is much easier to achieve regular sleep when you set a good rhythm for yourself. Establish a sleep routine, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. The longer you do this, the easier it will be, and the better you will feel!
  • Turn off your screens. The light from your phone, computer and TV screens negatively impacts your brain’s melatonin levels, disrupting your sleep. This, and the stimulation from watching your favorite shows, make falling asleep harder. If you do need help falling asleep, instead try listening to relaxing music, an audiobook or sleep stories to help soothe you to sleep.
  • Manage your nighttime routine. What you do before bed matters. In the hours before bed, you should avoid caffeine, nicotine, sugar and alcohol, as they all either make it harder to fall asleep or disrupt your sleep once it has already started. Avoid exercising too soon before bed, as it will take time for your body to cool down. Control light, decreasing it throughout the evening to more naturally get tired.
  • Don’t psych yourself out. If you are worried that you will have trouble falling asleep, then you likely will. This concern becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of difficulty sleeping. To take the pressure off yourself, approach sleep from a mindset of relaxing and unwinding rather than just trying to fall asleep.
  • Manage your stress. If you don’t manage your stress during the day, it will follow you into the night, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you choose to tackle your problems instead of ignoring them, you will both fall asleep and wake up the next morning more peacefully.

If you are in need of any mental health help, Centerstone is here to help. Call us at 1-877-HOPE123 (877-467-3123) or visit centerstoneconnect.org to get connected to care.

 

Related Posts

Mental Health

The importance of being honest about mental health

We all experience mental health challenges at different levels and different times. For some, mental illness is something they have lived with for much of their lives. Others may have never experienced mental health challenges. For this second group, it may be difficult to process new mental health issues when they first occur. “If you ...

Depression

What bipolar disorder is, and what it isn’t

Everyone experiences shifts in mood from time to time. These are often brought about by changes in circumstances, stress, physical ailments or common mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety. Having slight shifts in mood throughout your day is normal. For some, however, these mood shifts are more sudden and can move from extreme ...

Mental Health

How social workers help people

Social workers are trained professionals who specialize in improving the quality of life and well-being of others. They do so through direct practice, crisis intervention, research, policy, advocacy, social justice and more. Since spring 2020, social workers have become especially prominent in supporting families through the COVID-19 pandemic and in advocating for racial justice in ...

Mental Health

How being kind to others helps you

We all know the Golden Rule: “Treat others the way you want to be treated yourself.” From childhood, we are told that kindness is an important part of life. Being kind to others helps make them feel good and helps make the world a better place. But did you know that being kind can also ...

Depression

Recognizing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

This time of year when the weather is cold, wet and dreary, there are many days when we’d like to pull the covers back over our heads and stay in bed, rather than get out and face the day. We often loosely blame the winter months for sapping our energy, leaving us tired, irritable and ...

Call Now