When you are feeling anxious or stressed, it can be extremely difficult to get a good nights sleep. Depression may also cause either an increase or decrease in the amount of sleep you’re getting each night. Either way, when your mental health suffers so does the quality of your sleep. These tips will help you to improve your sleep despite your anxiety or depression symptoms.
1. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time everyday
Keeping in sync with your bodys natural sleep-wake cycle is one of the most effective strategies for improving your sleep. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, including on the weekends, can have a big impact. Avoid the temptation to nap – if you must, limit it to 15-20 mins and not past 4PM.
2. Control your light exposure
Our bodies naturally generate melatonin when it’s dark – making you sleepy, and less when it’s light out to make you alert. Ensure your sleeping space is dark with no distracting lights such as a computer or cellphone. When you wake up, open the blinds and allow as much natural light in as possible. Having your morning coffee outside, on a balcony, or near a window is a great way to start your day. Vitamin D from sunlight can also improve your mood if you’re suffering from depression.
3. Add in some daily exercise
Regular exercise can help you sleep better at night and feel less sleepy during the day because you will spend more time in the deep, restorative stage of sleep. The more vigorously you exercise, the more powerful the sleep benefits. But even light exercise—such as walking for just 10 minutes a day—improves sleep quality.
4. Eat a healthy diet
Your daytime eating habits play a role in how well you sleep, especially in the hours before bedtime. Limit caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. You might be surprised to know that caffeine can cause sleep problems up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it! Try to eat dinner earlier, 4 – 5PM is most ideal, but do not eat within 2 hours of bedtime.
5. Wind down
Do you find yourself unable to sleep or waking up night after night? Residual stress, worry, and anger from your day can make it very difficult to sleep well. Reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing meditation can help ease night time anxiety.
If you’re still finding yourself suffering depression or anxiety symptoms that are interrupting your sleep and the quality of your life, contact us. Our expert team of psychiatrists in Delray Beach can help you get back on track to feeling better.