Getting a good night’s sleep this Mental Health Awareness Week

This week (18 – 24 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week, as our sleep patterns change, your mental health can be impacted. But you can improve your sleep to help your mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Week has been run by the Mental Health Foundation since 2001, and has been encouraging important conversations about mental health for the last 19 years.

This year’s theme is kindness, but we’re taking some time to look at the importance of sleep on your mental health. After all, your sleep patterns may have changed during lockdown.

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and recent events may have had an impact on yours. One thing we can do to protect both our physical and mental health is getting a good night’s sleep.

SLEEP

Our mental health is closely linked to how much sleep we get: if we’re not sleeping enough, it can lead to exhaustion which can cause a huge drain on mental health.

On the other hand, sleeping too much can be a symptom of poor mental health, so sleep is key when it comes to mental health issues.

Getting the correct amount of sleeps allows us to recover from a busy day and get the rest we need for the day ahead. It’s essential to ensure we can take part in daily life.

But, with life being increasingly busy and the rise of social media, we’re now sleeping for an average of 90 minutes less that we did 100 years ago.

A GOOD NIGHT’S REST

Because of everything that’s been going on in the world, it may have impacted on your sleep. So, here are some top tips to ensure you can get the rest you need.

BEDROOM

Make sure your bedroom is an environment that you associate with sleep. If you spend hours working from home at your desk in your bedroom, have lots of screens, or workout in your room, this may not be helping your sleeping pattern.

Why not move your desk to a different room of the house, leave screens in the living room, or move your weights or yoga mat into the corridor, to ensure your room is as zen as it can be.

SCREENS

It won’t be a surprise that looking at screens before bed is not good for your sleeping pattern. The blue light emitted from screens restricts melatonin production – the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle.

Late night social media checks can leave you tossing and turning for hours at night, which is not good for your mental health. Instead, get into the habit of turning your phone, computer, TV and games consoles off an hour before you plan to sleep, and settle down with a book, face mask, cup of tea, or shower before bed, to get calm and comfortable.

TIPS

Other top tips for a great night’s sleep include:

  • Trying to fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day, even at the weekend. This routine can help your sleeping pattern in the long run.
  • Keeping a sleep diary of when you fall asleep and wake up, as well as how long you sleep for and any disruptions to sleep through the night. This can help you understand your sleeping pattern and how it’s impacting your day, as well as your mood.
  • Relaxation podcasts or playlists are a great way to drift off. Or, why not download an app such as Calm or Headspace, which will deliver exercises that can help you de-stress, unwind and fall asleep with ease.
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🌟Exciting news 🌟 The theme for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek 18-24 May 2020 is 💤 'sleep'. . 😴The Week will focus on the connections between our sleep – or lack of it – and mental health. . 2️⃣0️⃣🌟The Mental Health Foundation has set the theme, organised and hosted the week for the last 20 years, during which the event has grown to engage millions of people across the UK and globally, and this is all thanks to you for getting involved👏. . ❓Why has sleep been chosen as next year's theme: 💤It was chosen because millions of people report problems with sleeping. . 📚Evidence clearly shows it can have a major impact on our mental health. The week will focus on providing information and advice and campaigning for change to improve wellbeing and recovery. . . 💬“Sleep is the unsung hero for our mental health,” said Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Foundation. . . 💡“By understanding what affects our sleep, we can help protect the mental health of millions of people and also support recovery. 📣“We want to start a national conversation about how we can all sleep better – and uncover the hidden mental health costs of the poor sleep that affects so many of us. . 🤝“We will investigate the changes we need to make, as individuals, communities and as a society, to get the rest and renewal we all need. We’ll also set out what our schools, universities, employers and policymakers can do to achieve that aim.” Mark Rowland, Chief Executive . 💚We cannot wait for you to join in with the campaign next year. . . 😴 Find out more by visiting mentalhealth.org.uk/news. . . ☎️ Need support? Remember that @samaritanscharity are available 24/7 for free on 116 123 (UK). Whatever you're going through, they're hear to face it with you. . . . . . . #Sleep #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek2020 #SleepAndMentalHealth #MentalHealthAwareness #sleepcampaign

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The link between sleep and mental health is undeniable, and getting a good night’s rest can help to put you in a positive mood and alleviate any stresses or worries you may have.

So, log off and get your cosiest pyjamas on. Sweet dreams!

How are you raising awareness this Mental Health Awareness Week? Let our #EnableCommunity know on Twitter and Instagram.