A good night’s sleep is important for people of all ages. Waking up feeling refreshed, with plenty of sleep the night before, can lead to a better day. However, for those children and adults who live with mental illness, healthy sleep habits are even more crucial. Unfortunately, many mental illnesses make consistent sleep patterns more challenging.
In many cases, it can be difficult to determine which came first – sleep disturbances or mental health conditions. For example, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than one half of insomnia cases are related to depression, anxiety, or other psychological stress. Insomnia can be due to a mental illness condition – such as depression – or can cause a mental illness episode – such as mania. In any case, it is clear to see the connection between healthy, consistent sleep patterns and mental health stress.
Benefits of Healthy Sleep
Healthy sleep habits can lead to a variety of benefits. For those living with mental illness, sleep can lead to better coping skills, increased emotional intelligence, and decreased signs of mental illness or increased success of treatment. For example, schizophrenia and ADHD specifically have better treatment and recovery when sleep patterns are healthy (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
Healthy Sleep Tips
Healthy sleep can be elusive for those living with mental illness, and for those who don’t. Daily life stress and poor bedtime habits can lead to sleepless nights for many Americans. If you are looking to wake up feeling ready to face the day, try a few of these healthy sleep tips to get your bedtime back on track.
• Shut off all electronics at least one hour before bed. Instead, spend time unwinding with a book.
• Go to bed at a consistent time, no matter if it is during the week or during the weekend.
• Assure your bedroom is set up for sleep – curtains to block out the light and a noise machine to eliminate distractions can be excellent support for your new sleep habits.
• Talk to your doctor about any sleeping issues, and work together to determine what habits and help could lead to a better sleep for your unique situation.
Sleep is an important part of your day, and can affect all aspects of your health. Be sure to get enough to keep you healthy!