Hi friends and happy Saturday! 🙂
People who struggle with mental illnesses have a special place in my heart. You see, mental illness isn’t just schizophrenia and white rooms with white walls. It’s also depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders. Mental illness is a real thing real people struggle with, including myself.
You may not see it on the day to day because people are often terrified of the judgement that sometimes comes. If I’m completely honest, anxiety is one of my biggest struggles of all time and I’ve hit some pretty dark places because of it. Living with mental illnesses is hard and requires a lot of self-care and commitment from yourself, as well as the people around you.
Therefore quite a few of my articles, including this one, will revolve around self care and mental health. Of course, our articles will vary greatly from some very serious articles to some lighter-hearted articles. This article is a lighter-hearted one, though it is still very important! Sleep, and the lack thereof, affects our brains so much!
When people are sleep-deprived, their bodies and brains get pretty out of whack, and, in turn, make us feel like crap. Actually, no. Worse. It makes us feel like shit. If I don’t get enough sleep, I tend to have a really hard time focusing, a bad attitude, and worsened anxiety. It feels like my body is glitching, which is more than annoying. You don’t want to feel like that and neither do I, which means something has to change.
Let’s make a vow, you and me, to take better care of ourselves from now on! We deserve it, right?
Around the age of fifteen, I started having a really hard time sleeping. It got to the point where I would lay down in bed at a reasonable time and still not be able to sleep until 4 or 5 in the morning. It was brutal. Eventually I started doing research on the subject, as well as asking around for some advice. As you might imagine, I got all sorts of responses!
Lucky for you, I’m here to narrow down the options and share three things you should add to your nightly routine for better sleep! Spoiler Alert! The overwhelming theme is relaxing and preparing your body and mind for sleep as much as possible before you get into bed.
You’ll Sleep Better AFTER a Shower or Bath
Are you a shower-in-the-morning type of person? When I was in high school, I definitely was. It kind of just made sense to do it that way: wake up, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, and then go to school.
I was shocked at the difference it made when I changed up my routine and started showering/bathing in the evening or at night right before bed. In general, water tends to be relaxing.
I mean, the examples of water aiding relaxation are endless! From enjoying a day at the beach listening to the waves hit the sand to water births to ice baths (physically relaxing) to float therapy… The list could go on and on! ‘
Water can be a natural relaxing agent, which is why it makes sense to pair it with bed time as opposed to coffee time.
Note: If you are a fast and furious showerer, like me, take the time to slow down and enjoy the feeling of the water on your skin. Many of the relaxing benefits of the shower can be lost if you’re just focused on getting in and out as quickly as possible.
Free time is really important when it comes to getting yourself ready for a good night’s sleep! Take some time in the evening, after work, to do something you like to do. When I get home from work, which is usually late in the evening, around 7 p.m. or so, I like to unwind by listening to music and watching TV.
There’s a lot of debate on whether TV before bed is good for you (your brain, specifically), but, in my personal experience, watching a few episodes of my favorite shows naturally relaxes me and makes me want to go to bed. If you don’t like the TV approach that’s totally fine!
You have other options like reading a book, listening to music, or enjoying a nice, hot cup of tea! Remember, though, when you’re choosing how to spend your free time, the goal is to get your body and mind relaxed so going to sleep and staying asleep is a piece of cake!
Supplements for Peaceful Sleep
My stepmom was the first person to introduce me to the concept that it’s best to take your vitamins and supplements at night. When you sleep, your body is in a recovery mode.
So, by giving your body necessary vitamins and supplements right before bed, your body will have the opportunity to make the best use of them!
I’ve actually noticed a difference in my sleep since I started taking all of that good-for-you stuff at night!
If you’ve been struggling with sleep off and on for awhile now, I would recommend something called melatonin. They have it just about anywhere and it’s a well-known sleep supplement.
I would not recommend using it long-term because if you take it for too long then your body becomes dependent on it for sleep. All I’m suggesting is using it at first to get yourself back into a healthy routine and then stop when you feel like you’ve set a good sleep precedent for yourself.
Thank you for reading and I hope that you learned something new!!
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