Sleep Schedule for Mental Health
Sleep Schedule for Mental Health blog will be recommendations I have learned through therapy, articles I have read, and my own experiences. I am not a therapist or psychiatrist. You should always seek medical attention if you have insomnia or sleep issues because it really does affect your mental health!
Sleep schedules and I are not friends! It is a significant challenge for me, actually. A typical day for me is to wake up around 6 am. I take my AM medication, and by 9 am, I am falling asleep sitting up. I usually go back to bed and sleep till around 11 am or Noon. I am not ready to sleep on those days when it is bedtime. OR I wake up at 3 am and stay awake all day; I want to go to bed after dinner, like right after dinner! I also have a horrible habit of looking at my cell phone in bed. You will see that is not an intelligent thing to do.
My favorite therapist was the authority on sleep schedules, and if she knew how I was sleeping now, I could see her just shaking her head and giving me a dirty look! She gave me particular instructions on how to sleep. I will share them here in the hopes of helping you AND myself! I want to get back into my good sleep patterns.
#1 tip – set a schedule of a time to wake up and a bedtime where you can get at least 7 hours of sleep. Stick to the plan even on the weekend and holidays
My ideal sleep schedule is 6 am to wake up and 9 pm bedtime, giving me 9 hours of sleep. Adults should sleep between 7 and 9 hours.
#2 tip – set up your bedroom for sleep. You will want to create a relaxing area that is calming to you. Keep the lights down and the temperature at your most comfortable range. It would be best if you associate your bedroom with sleep.
My family lives in an apartment, and our bedroom is also our office. Our bed area is comfy and relaxing, but if one of us uses the computer, it does not help us fall asleep! We do have a very dim light for the desk that does help.
#3 tip – Once your bedroom is set, you will want to create a sleepytime routine that starts about an hour before bed. Do things that relax you, like reading a book or magazine (not digital). If a shower relaxes you, take a hot one! If you are having difficulty relaxing, you can practice deep breathing exercises.
When working on my sleep schedule, I like to shower and wrap up in comfy jammies, and crochet. (not in the bedroom) I do focus on my breathing. In crochet, some patterns call for you to count stitches. It is very relaxing for me to count each stitch, even if it is not required. If I am trying to get sleepy, I will count as I go.
#4 tip – Do not eat or drink anything except water after dinner. If you eat before bed, you could get indigestion and an upset stomach. Caffeine and sugary drinks will wake you up or make you uncomfortable.
I have a problem with this! Not the eating part, I try not to eat after dinner, but I always drink pop before bed. I know it is wrong and switch to ice tea close to bedtime, but that is not healthy either. Note to self…better reevaluate it.
#5 tip – Do not stay in bed if you can not fall asleep. You want to associate your bed with sleeping. If you can not sleep, get up and leave the room. Return to your sleepy routine activity for about 30 minutes and lie down when you are sleepy again.
I do not have much luck with this either! I get up and wake myself up. My bedroom has too many activities going on in there for me to associate it with sleeping only. I use the computer there, pay bills and do beauty things like painting my nails. Our space doesn’t allow me to keep my bedroom completely separate.
I plan to follow these recommendations as closely as possible until I get back on my sleep schedule. I feel it when I am off the program, and my mental health suffers.
These numbers are huge! I suffer from PTSD myself, definitely not from combat. I feel for our soldiers who suffer from PTSD and insomnia on top of it. Pray for our troops!
We must make every effort to be mindful of our sleep schedule to protect our mental health.
How many hours do you sleep? Leave me a comment!
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