It’s sometimes good to cut back on things. But more times than nought, most of us are all guilty of cutting out the most important, and ironically, easiest activity: sleeping. Most of us are busy with school, families or careers, and surrounded by so many gadgets that provide instant gratification that we end up pushing our minds and bodies to the limit.
Going without a proper night’s sleep is, hands-down, harmful to our mental and physical well-being. A weakened immune system, poor memory recall, trouble adapting, and falling into a depression are just some sleep deprivation effects.
It’s never too late. No matter how poor your bedtime and typical routine is, you can make changes to get a more restful sleep. Here are some sleep tips to help depression:
Don’t save it for the weekends
I’ll put my hand up and plead guilty for doing this too much. During the week I’ll replace sleep with other activities, then sleep-in on the weekend to try to catch up. But it just doesn’t work like that. To push back that depression, we need to have a consistent amount of sleep each night of the week.
Careful with those naps
There’s nothing the matter with napping throughout the day, as long as you maintain good nap-discipline. A good power nap should be no longer than 30 minutes. And avoid naps within five hours of your normal bedtime. Otherwise, it will confuse your body into moving into proper sleep mode.
What’s the optimal amount of time we should sleep for? Some may say at least six-hours. Professionals will say between seven to nine hours. Well actually, the sweet spot is eight hours and ten minutes. Write that number down somewhere and make it a personal challenge to hit that mark. Who says sleeping can’t be fun.
Keep a journal
Your journal: a number-one, national bestseller for three consecutive months. Can’t you see it now? Okay, so no one else may be interested as you in your sleep journals. But trust me, once your patterns are down in the black and white, you’ll have a strong understanding of how to get a better night’s sleep.
Sitting in front of a computer screen with a cup of coffee can be enjoyable, or even a necessary part of life. But it’s important to have a mark on the clock that tells us when enough is enough. Limit your caffeine to five hours before your scheduled bedtime and screen time to 30 minutes. It might be tough at first, but you’ll be happy you did.
Having a generally healthy diet throughout the day is important, but especially before bed. Make sure you avoid any fatty, sugary or unhealthy snacks that will affect your sleep. And by avoiding food right before going to bed means your body can focus its energy on restoring itself and not digesting food during your sleep cycle.
It’s challenging to make lifestyle changes. But in hindsight, you’ll be happy you did. These tips will help put-to-bed those negative sleep deprivation effects that hinder our mental and physical well-being.