A bad night’s sleep can affect us in many ways. This can include feelings of irritability and our ability to concentrate.
If sleeplessness is a regular occurrence for you, it’s possible you could have insomnia (see the NHS website for further information). Struggling to get a good night’s sleep can also impact our mental health and exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress.
If you are struggling to get enough zzz’s then here are some handy tips…
Regular sleep hours
Try to stick to regular times for going to bed and waking up. This helps teach your body to sleep better.
Make your sleeping environment more restful
Your bedroom should ideally be cool, it should also be as dark as possible. If you can, set your phone or tablet to ‘Do not disturb’ during your sleep times (some phones let you set this up to be automated so you don’t have to remember every evening). There is a useful video over on the Every Mind Matters website.
Caffeine and alcohol can stop you falling asleep and also prevent you from falling into a deep sleep. If you do have them in the evening, try to avoid them close to bedtime.
Being active in the day and evening can help us get rid of extra energy and is a great stress buster. It may not help to do very vigorous activity like running just before bedtime though!
Something specific worrying you?
If something is worrying you and stopping you from sleeping, how about writing it down? Or you could jot down an action plan for tackling it the next day and then go to bed knowing you can take care of it tomorrow. This can be effective in allowing our brain to switch off better.
When to get help
Everyone feels low or anxious sometimes, particularly when difficult things are happening in our lives and sleepless nights can worsen these feelings. If you’re still feeling down or no longer get pleasure from things for most of each day and this lasts for several weeks, you may be experiencing depression.
You can refer yourself to a local Talking Therapies service which is free and confidential or you can talk to your GP.
If you’re having thoughts that life’s not worth living, or you’re self-harming or thinking about doing so, it’s important to tell someone.
These thoughts can be complex, frightening and confusing, but you don’t have to struggle with them alone. Help and support is available right now: Crisis and Emergency Contacts in Surrey