Getting good quality sleep is essential in order to maintain good mental health and resilience to stress.
How much you need varies from person to person, but 7-8 hours is generally a good amount to aim for. If you struggle to get to sleep or wake frequently during the night, these bedtime rituals may help:
Set yourself a bedtime.
Your body clock will settle into a rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep. It also means you can count back the hours from your morning alarm clock to make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
Avoid caffeine or other stimulants in the evening
Instead of tea or coffee, opt for herbal blends incorporating herbs that promote rest such as chamomile or passiflora.
Large quantities of food or alcohol...
...before bed might not stop you drifting off but will almost certainly disrupt your sleep later in the night.
Create a night time sanctuary
A dark, quiet, clutter free room, free from distractions or disturbance gives you the best chance for undisturbed sleep. A supportive mattress and pillow are also important, as back & neck aches can affect sleep and impact you during the day too.
Avoid electronics in your bedroom or immediately before bed.
The light from digital equipment can interfere with your circadian rhythms and engaging in work or social media can result in a ‘tired but wired’ feeling.
Use essential oils.
There is lots of evidence supporting the use of lavender to promote relaxation and sleep. Other oils that are good for this include Roman chamomile, vetiver, cedarwood and clary sage. You can blend them to your preference to use in an evening bath or body oil, in a vaporiser, to spray on your pillow or applied to your pulse points - the back of the wrists, nape of the neck or temples.
Special MHAW week offer: book in for a 30 minute session for any therapy for £15 (Public) £13 (UoW Staff & Alumni), £10 (UoW students) or join us next Wednesday the 13th and learn how to make tasty, simple recipes that boost your brainpower and resilience at out Eat Well workshop for only £25 (Quote MHA when booking/ use Exam stress buster menu on paypal).
Official Mental Health Awareness Week website.