Do you ever feel like you aren’t getting enough sleep? That’s because most of us aren’t. And even though the time has fallen back, due to the seasons, that one extra hour isn’t enough. Surveys have shown that around 1 in 3 adults are not getting enough sleep. Along with this, individuals are also not having good quality sleep, leading to increases in tiredness and sleep deprivation. While our local coffee shops can be helpful and quick solutions, nothing truly provides as much energy and rejuvenation, as consistent and high-quality sleep.
While sleep is seen as a part of everyone’s daily routine, sleep is an incredible process that the body and mind experience. Sleep is an action that provides the body time to rejuvenate and repair itself. Adults over the age of 18 are recommended to have 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep, per night, and Children, teenagers, and those with chronic illness are recommended to have more than 9 hours of sleep, due to growth and repair needs. When sleeping, the body experiences a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, as well as the relaxation of the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the fight or flight response, and also the ability to rest and relax. Most everyone feels physically rested and mentally alert after a night of quality sleep. During sleep, the brain processes information that was gathered during the day. Along with this function, sleep can have a major impact on our overall mental health.
When people experience a lack of sleep, various side effects can occur, other than feeling physically tired and less alert. Studies have shown that poor quality and insufficient sleep are linked to higher chances of experiencing suicidality, anxiety, and an overall decrease in psychiatric wellness. Sleep is an important part of overall mental wellness. When sleep is compromised, it can lead to increases in the stress hormone, cortisol, as well as increased mental distress, and the likelihood that our sympathetic nervous system is more prone to engage in the fight or flight response. While this response is beneficial when a physical threat is around, it can be mentally and physically draining to experience in day-to-day life.
While life can be busy and stimulating, establishing a sleep routine can aid in experiencing quality and sufficient sleep. Below are several tips to begin improving your sleep:
- Reduce caffeine intake; preferably no caffeine after 12-2:00 pm
- Wake up and fall asleep around the same time each day
- Reduce blue light a few hours before bedtime
- Only use your bed for sleep; don’t watch tv or eat in bed
- Tidy up your room before bed
While there are several important parts of the day, prioritizing your nighttime routine, and quality of sleep can provide both physical rejuvenation and emotional ease.
If you would like to talk to someone about why you are not getting enough sleep, or the mental tole exhaustion is taking on you, give Tx Harmony Counseling a call at (832) 352-1600 or contact us here.