Sleep Apnea The lights are out as you prepare for bed. You find yourself wide awake, despite the comfort of your sheets and the comfort of your pillow. Tossing and turning, you fail to find the right position to fall asleep.You can't help but wonder if there's an off button you could switch just to be able to get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.Just like you, many people suffer from chronic sleep disorders. Research shows that over 60 million Americans have trouble sleeping. Inadequate amounts of sleep can result to some serious mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Sleep And Your Mental Health When you have a busy schedule, sleep doesn’t always make it as a top priority. Some tend to forget the importance of getting quality sleep when it comes to their overall well being. Many areN't aware that the amount and quality of sleep they get can affect their mental health.Sleep and mental health have a complex relationship, yet they're both intertwined: check Poor quality of sleep translates to overall poor health. Lack of sleep may cause the immune system to weaken. This means that your mind and body can become vulnerable to various diseases. check Hinders clear thinking and learning. Our ability to think may be clouded when we don't get enough sleep. Rapid eye movement or REM sleep helps stimulate the brain and promote learning. Those who have regular and full REM sleep are able to recall the things they learn better compared to those who are sleep deprived. check Psychological stress. If you feel low or agitated when unable to get the right amount of sleep, you may experience some form of psychological stress. It may be difficult for you to manage the amount of stress you feel from your work or your daily life if you aren't getting enough sleep. check Depression. Inability to get better sleep is one symptom of depression. Around 65 up to 90 percent of the adult population that suffers from clinical depression have problems with their sleeping habits.People who take sleep for granted are usually the ones who are at risk of developing mental health issues. Pay attention to the amount of sleep you get daily, as it doesn't only affect the body, but also the mind. Ways to Get Better Sleep Treating your sleeping problems helps improve your mental health. Some of the most helpful ways to achieve better sleep are:1. ) Take note of your body’s sleep cycle. a. ) Sleep and wake cycle. Your sleep and wake cycle allows you to create a standard pattern for your sleep. This helps you solve your inability to get the right amount of sleep by sticking to your body’s sleeping pattern. b. ) Set a schedule. Set a time for going to bed and a time for waking up. This is to set your body clock to a certain amount of sleep. Your bedtime should be during the time when you are most tired. This lessens the probability of tossing and turning. Your waking time should be when you have completed the number of sleeping hours you wish to achieve. 2. ) Limit sleeping in. Avoid sleeping more than you're used to. There are times when you may want to sleep more, especially during weekends. However, this will cause your sleep cycle to restart. 3. ) Keep your naps in check. Naps may be good in order to make up for lost sleeping time, but too many naps may also damage your sleep-wake cycle. A fifteen-minute power nap in the afternoon is enough to keep you awake until bedtime. 4. ) Avoid caving into drowsiness after dinner. Something about being full makes us feel sleepy. This is common after eating dinner. Avoid taking a short nap after eating, as it will surely disrupt your sleeping patterns. Instead, do activities such as washing the dishes, cleaning your dining area and more.5. ) Control your bedroom’s lighting. Your lighting can affect your melatonin levels. This is a hormone known for aiding the regulation of your sleeping and waking cycles. When your surroundings are dark, your body produces more melatonin, making you feel sleepier.6. ) Avoid caffeine. Limit your daily caffeine consumption. Coffee, sugary drinks and tea contain caffeine that act as a stimulant to keep you awake. Avoid it 4 to 6 hours before sleeping.7. ) Drink a cup of milk. Instead of alcohol, drink milk before going to bed. Milk, which is a protein-rich food, contains an amino acid called tryptophan. This amino acid is responsible for promoting sleep. Improving Sleeping Patterns Helps Improve Mental Health Sleeping better can help improve mental health by: Making you feel better. Sleeping helps clear your mind. Whatever stress you experience during the day, sleeping can put you in a better mood. Helping make your memory sharper. Getting enough sleep helps you become more focused the next day. Your memory will seem sharper, as you were able to provide it with ample rest. Your decision-making and problem-solving skills should be improved as a result of more sleep. Boosting your overall mental health. Sleeping helps boost your general mental health. Getting enough sleep lessens the depressive symptoms you experience. Your anxiety will also be lessened, as your mind becomes sharper and more focused. Final Key Points... If you’re physically tired, it will also be harder for you to cope with whatever you’re struggling with mentally. Sleep alleviates the sluggish and haggard feeling. Your mood can be more relaxed and you can address your mental health issues with a clearer mind.When you’ve tried all means possible to heal your mental health through sleeping but to no avail, Psychologists Southern Sydney can be the answer to your problems. ” Janice Killey ”Janice has a wealth of experience and training. She holds a Diploma of Education, Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Master of Arts (Counseling), Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy (ASH) and is a Registered Psychologist at Psychologists Southern Sydney. She’s also a member of the Australian Psychological Society.