Better Sleep Hygiene: 5 Steps to Improve Mental Health

5 min readDec 14, 2021

By Dr. Ryan C. Warner

Getting Quality Sleep is Vital to Your Mental Health (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Have you ever stared at the ceiling at all hours of the night, hoping for sleep but being disappointed? The importance of sleep cannot be overstated. Millions of people suffer from this experience every night. They are actively searching for better sleep, but what can be done? There are many ways you can pursue better sleep. You can change your daily routine to make yourself sleepier at night or change your sleep environment. You can also take supplements, natural sleep aids, or see a medical professional for medication or other interventions.

Sometimes you can sleep through the night and still wake up tired and groggy. In many cases, this is because you’re not sleeping deeply enough. Maybe you’re waking up several times through the night or experiencing other disruptions. Just because you’re getting enough hours of sleep doesn’t mean you’re getting enough quality sleep.

Self-care is among the most important things you can do, but it’s easy to forget. Getting quality sleep is vital to your mental health, and the healthier your mind is, the easier it will be to get good sleep. No matter who you are, there are things you can do to improve the quality of your time spent in bed. Let’s explore some of the easiest and best methods to improve your sleep.

The Benefits of Sleep

Everybody knows that you need sleep or you’ll be tired the next day. There are many advantages to a full night’s sleep, and not all of them are well known. Ambitious, hard working people who have a lot of responsibility often think they can cheat their sleep using stimulants in the morning and alcohol or sleeping pills at night. But these activities only mask the fact that you are tired. Sleep is necessary for good health. Your body is constantly deteriorating and replenishing itself, and sleep facilitates the healing process.

When You Get Enough Sleep, You are Less Stressed (Image Source: Shutterstock)

When you get enough sleep, one of the first things you’ll notice is that you are less stressed. When you are well-rested, you’re more likely to be in a good mood, and you’ll also find it’s easier to pay attention. You will also find you have more willpower when you’ve had enough sleep. This makes it easier to avoid unhealthy foods and get more exercise. Tired people don’t want to go to the gym. As an added bonus, learn how to maintain good posture even while sleeping and you will be less likely to experience back pain.

Children and teens need more sleep than adults. How much sleep you need depends on your age and health. As we age we need less and less sleep. It’s not uncommon for the elderly to be up late and wake up early. But no matter who you are, you will feel better and stay healthier if you make sure you get enough sleep.

Many sleep deprivation effects are hard to notice, even if you drink caffeine or use other stimulants. These interventions can help in emergencies or as a short term fix, but you’ll always end up paying for it later. There is no substitute for a healthy night’s sleep.

Sleep Hygiene

Nationwide, about 30% of people do not get enough sleep. There are a wide variety of reasons for this, but in many cases, you can get better results by following a few simple guidelines:

Getting Better Sleep Will Improve Your Productivity (Image Source: Shutterstock)

The first step is don’t go to bed until you are sleepy. When you get into bed before you’re tired, you’ll find other activities like watching TV or surfing the internet that will keep you awake.

Second, keep a consistent sleep schedule all week, and get out of bed as soon as you wake up. Laying around in bed, either before you fall asleep or after you wake up, makes it harder for you to keep to a good sleep schedule. Staying up late and sleeping in on the weekends will also interfere with your ability to sleep during the week.

Third, once you go to bed, if you can’t fall asleep you need to get back up. Get up after 30 minutes if you can’t fall asleep. Sit in a chair and read a book (not on a screen) or do some light stretching to help you relax. Get back in bed as soon as you’re tired.

Fourth, avoid taking naps during the day. When you get tired, stretch your legs, get some fresh air, or have a drink of water. These will often give you more energy, and will make it easier for you to fall asleep at the end of your day. Last but not least, only use your bed for sleeping and sex. If you restrict your bed for these activities, it will help train your brain to fall asleep faster.

The Mental Benefits of Better Sleep

Being mentally healthy promotes better sleep, and when you’re getting enough sleep, it improves your mental health. If you feel your mental health is not all it could be, I suggest you improve your sleeping habits.

Getting better sleep will not only help your mental state, it will improve your productivity at work as well. In fact, I can’t think of an area in your life that will not improve if you are getting enough deep, recuperative sleep.

Sleep is your superpower | Matt Walker │ TED

If you’ve tried some of these tips and haven’t gotten the results you want, you may just need an extra boost to get things started. I suggest trying a CBD pillow. It’s a safe way to help you melt away the stress and anxiety that have built up during the day. An Aera diffuser is another method that can make sleeping easier and is an ideal way to practice aromatherapy. It’s adjustable, hypoallergenic, and safe for use around children and pets.

Try these helpful suggestions for 30 days and see if your sleep doesn’t improve. If things don’t get better, I strongly encourage you to seek medical advice. Good sleep is the foundation of happiness, health, and success in life, and you deserve the best. Get started tonight!

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