Sleep, a basic human need, an activity that comes so easily to people when they are infants, and children can become very complicated as we grow older.
Sleep disturbances, particularly insomnia – are highly prevalent those with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. At the same time, not getting enough, quality sleep can worsen the symptoms of mental illnesses and increase stress levels.
So what can we do to sleep better?
There are things you can do to help your sleep:
1) If you are suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD or have experienced trauma, seek the help of a therapist to treat the cause of the problem. Remember, sleep disturbance is a symptom and not the cause.
2) If ruminating about past stressful events and worrying about future events keep you up, see number 1 in this list and also, write your worries down before sleep and promise yourself that you will deal with them tomorrow, during the daytime.
3) keep a regular schedule: try to wake up and go to sleep around the same time every day, your brain, your body and sleep habits will thank you!
4) No electronics at least an hour before sleep: If you use your phone as an alarm clock or to listen to audio, switch it to the night mode to reduce the light your eyes get exposed to.
5) Create a sleep routine to tell your brain when you are ready to fall sleep. For example, when your sleep time alarm goes off, a) change to PJs, b) write up your worries and put them away, c) brush + floss your teeth, d) do a mindfulness activity.
5) Eliminate light and sound exposure by wearing an eye mask and earplugs.