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What causes sleep anxiety?

Now the routines are a little disrupted by the summer heat and long school holidays, are you managing to safeguard your sleep? Sleep anxiety is caused when sleep is not reparative, and daily matters are keeping you from a good night sleep.

Without proper sleep you are not giving your body adequate rest and repair time and you are risking your mental health and your physical health. This is a serious matter.

Did you know that when you are in REM deep sleep your brain is at it’s busiest throughout the day? That is because the unconscious is busy processing all of your experiences to help you deal with the next day.

Lack of good sleep leads to increased incidents of depression, anxiety, stress, raised cortisol levels and adrenaline which weaken the immune system and are causes of heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure. We all know that feeling of running on empty.

Many get a cold and get ill as soon as they start resting because up until that point adrenaline has been keeping them going and their immune system eventually cracks. In order to avoid this, good sleep practice throughout the year is essential.

Lack of sleep is evidently linked to profound emotional depletion and when you don’t have good sleep you are likely to find yourself being overwhelmed by all of your emotions, feeling overtired, angry, stroppy, indecisive and generally tense. You are much less likely to have a positive mindset if your brain and body have not had the chance to rest properly through the night.

Interestingly nighttime sleep is much better than sleep when the sun is up in the middle of the day. So if you can, make sure you prioritise night time sleep. If this is impossible, then a midday nap is essential. If a nap in the day is impossible, make sure you secure a good early night for you!

Remember that all the good self care you do through the day to invest in your emotional and psychological wellbeing is reversed through lack of sleep.

So the key message for you here is that your sleep is absolutely essential to the quality of your life!

Did you know that human beings can’t actually survive without sleep for more than 11 days? After about 3 days of no sleep you start hallucinating and loosing your grip on reality and you eventually collapse.

So here are your good practice guidelines (informed by my years as a Psychologist) to help you nurture a good relationship with your sleep.

1. Go to bed at the same time every night and try sleeping for at least 6-8 hrs. You’ll know what is adequate for you. Make sure the couch is not your bed.

2. Remove all screens from your bedroom. TVs, iPads, laptops, phones. Do not get sucked into the social media world. It prevents and delays your brain from activating sleep vibes.

3. Do not have an alarm that has strong led light. You can turn it around so it is not keeping you awake, lower it’s brightness or get a wrist alarm.

4. Make sure there is proper air flow throughout the night. Stuffy rooms, hot rooms, airless rooms – no good.

5. Share your bed, of course, but ensure that you will have uninterrupted sleep for at least 6 – 8 hrs. If your sleep partner snores, hogs the mattress or the blankets, tosses and turns too much, or has to get up too early to get to work, discuss sorting these difficulties out or get your own room. This could actually save your partnership rather than ruin it. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture and prolonged disturbed sleep will deplete you in time and cause you to feel shattered and down. Not a good thing for any relationship.

6. Invest in good bed linen and a good mattress for you. So important!

7. If worries, thoughts and matters of the day are keeping you awake then practice a calming meditation to reduce the cortisol flow. Check out the Mindfulness link on my site to learn more about good meditation practice.

8. If you don’t have blinds that block out the sunlight – get them! Vital.

9. Set a good sleep intention when you go to bed to tell your unconscious that your sleep matters to you. This works.

10. When you are trying to relax into your sleep, think about everything that you feel grateful for in your day. This helps to connect with positivity rather than stress.

All of this can help you safeguard your #mentalhealth

If you any tips for my readers, please feel free to share!

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