Mental Health awareness week took place last week (the 14th -20th May). Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, the week aimed to encourage people to speak about Mental Health to help share and support. This year the focus was on stress. Research has shown that two-thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes, and stress is a key factor in this.
At Soak&Sleep, we understand that there is a close relationship between our mental health and sleep, and if your sleep suffers you can wake up feeling sluggish. So here are our top 5 tips for drifting off, when you are feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Top 5 Tips for getting to sleep when stressed…
- Breathing Exercises
Deep, slow breathing can be a powerful method to clear the body of stress, tension and relax your mind in preparation for sleep.
Before you start it’s important you are in a comfortable sleeping position. Lay on your back and place your arms by your sides with palms facing upwards, then either straighten the legs or bend the knees.
Start by taking a deep slow breath in through your nose. Try to breathe as deeply as possible without forcing it, then allow the breath out through the mouth. It may be useful to count as you breathe. Taking a breath in counting up and a breath out counting down. Repeat this 3 -5 times to allow your body to become used to this method..
You may also want to try the 4-7-8 breathing method. This is a structured breathing exercise which can help relax the body and improve sleep by adopting the breathing pattern your body uses when it’s falling asleep.
- Inhale for four seconds.
- Hold your breath for seven seconds.
- Exhale slowly, for eight seconds.
- Repeat several times.
- Relaxation Methods
Busy minds can keep you awake at night and prevent sleep when it’s needed the most. Practising relaxation methods such as meditation and/or yoga may be the sleep aid your mind and body needs.
Meditation helps train the mind to be aware of perspective and to think about and observe your thoughts and feelings without judgement. This method can be practised at any time during the day but can be helpful to clear your mind from negative and unwanted thoughts at night, when you should be getting quality sleep.
Yoga not only helps stretch your body enhancing your physical strength but can also reduce stress and help focus your mind. Yoga has been shown to lower cortisol or “the stress hormone” levels in the brain which can help minimise stress. Practising yoga before bed can help clear your mind of daily tensions allowing you to wind down and relax before you sleep.
- Sleep Diary
Figuring out why you are unable to sleep could introduce unwanted stress at night. There are many reasons as to why you may be finding it hard to drift off and it may not be consistent each night.
Keeping a sleep diary close to, or next to your bed can be a useful way to record daily stresses, food and drink consumption as well as exercise practice, all of which may be causing sleep issues or aiding better sleep.
By recording the above, along with how you sleep during the night you may be able to discover patterns, helping you to adapt your daily routines to improve your sleep habits.
- Create a comfortable sleeping space.
It’s important that your body is comfortable and supported correctly at night. Be sure to think about your sleeping position, body temperature and sleeping pattern when you create the foundations of your bed.
Your mattress, duvet and pillows have a huge effect on your sleep comfort, so it’s important to get these right and tailor the choice to your personal sleep habits. Bed Linen is just as important, with selected ranges aiding sleep through breathability and softness.
Our better sleep campaign can help guide you through your bedding buying journey along with our buying guides and helpful customer service team. Get in touch today to start creating your perfect sleep haven.
- You time.
Taking time to focus on yourself is vital for a healthy body and mind. It’s important to find time in the day to have “you time”. This may be in the form of a hobby, going for a run, having a soaky bath, or catching up on your favourite TV. It’s important to give yourself the space to enjoy what you love the most.
Soak&Sleep are passionate about great sleep. Everyone deserves to have the very best sleep, every night. If you are struggling to sleep don’t suffer in silence, gaining quality sleep is vital for healthy minds and bodies.