Mental Health Week: The importance of sleep
In the midst of Mental Health Week, it’s not surprising that the relationship between mental health and sleep is a common conversation. If we suffer with mental health problems then, more often than not, it’s our sleep which suffers or even vice versa!
From problems such as anxiety and depression, to directly related sleep issues such as insomnia, our relationship with sleep is vital for our overall health.
In continued support of The Mental Health Foundation, TEMPUR looks at how our mental health can impact our sleep, the importance of sleep and how to improve your sleep hygiene…
Mental Health Week: What is it?
Mental Health Awareness Week helps to start and continue conversations around mental health. This year, Mental Health Week takes place between May 14-20 and aims to tackle the theme of stress.
Although stress isn’t a mental health problem, it can exaggerate pre-existing issues such as anxiety and depression. However, if we learn to combat stress, it can often lead to success!
TEMPUR® are proud to be supporting the Mental Health Foundation. This means for every mattress bought in a TEMPUR® owned store or through the TEMPUR® UK wesbite, a £10 donation will be made to the Mental Health Foundation.*
Sleep and Mental Health
Sleep is essential for our overall health and wellbeing as it allows our brains to process the day’s events and our bodies to recover.
However, it’s no secret that sleep and mental health are closely linked!
Poor sleep can be a consequence of a number of things including general discomfort in bed (light, noise, heat). But sometimes, it’s a result of our thoughts:
- Anxiety often correlates with worry and stress, which can keep us up past our bedtime, or make it difficult to sleep through the night
- Depression is linked to insomnia, and many people find it difficult falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early. Occasionally, depression can be linked to oversleeping, however this doesn’t seem to reduce tiredness
- Post-traumatic stress disorder can also interrupt sleep, often in the form of nightmares and night terrors. This can make the act of sleeping scary, causing you to feel anxious about what will happen during your sleep
Most mental health problems cause a lack of sleep. However, lack of sleep also makes us more vulnerable to negative thoughts. This becomes a vicious cycle, whereby lack of sleep is both a cause and an effect of mental health!
Improving sleep hygiene
Although mental health problems often require treatment or therapy, there are small changes you can make to your bedtime routine to help you drift off and catch those all-important zzz’s:
- Low temperature – sleeping in a cold(er) room allows the body’s temperature to naturally drop and initiate sleep
- Light – light levels should be low in your room. Invest in some dark blinds or a TEMPUR sleep eye mask to reduce disturbances from sunlight
- Reduce noise – wearing earplugs or using a white noise appliance will help lower the volume of external sounds
- Comfort – having a comfortable mattress and the correct number of pillows is key to how well you sleep. TEMPUR’s range of mattresses use special a material which moulds to the shape of your body, helping to relieve pressure points and aid a restful night’s sleep
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine – aim to have your last cup of coffee six hours before bed, and try to refrain from smoking around bedtime too. Although alcohol might seem to help you drift off, it acts as a stimulant after a few hours causing us to wake throughout the night. If drinking alcohol, try to have your last drink three hours before bed!
- Regular exercise – exercising at the right time of day (daytime or early evening), two to three times a week will improve your general health as well as helping you to drift off soundly
* £10 from the sale of every TEMPUR mattress purchased online or through a TEMPUR official store in May 2018 will be paid to The Mental Health Foundation, a registered charity, with registered numbers 801130 (in England) and 039714 (in Scotland).