You might know that there are some things you can do to help prevent or manage mild depression, such as taking a daily walk, keeping a journal or talking to a therapist.
But let’s be honest…it’s hard to do the things we know are “good for us” when we’re feeling tired and cranky!
Brains need rest to “re-charge” to help us feel in tip top shape. While sleep needs vary from person to person, most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Getting enough sleep and feeling well rested the next morning has many benefits. Perhaps the most important benefit is having the energy to focus on feeling better.
1. Stick to a schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
2. Create a bedtime ritual: Do things you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music or taking a hot bath.
3. Create a relaxing sleep space: Get rid of distractions such as bright lights, a TV or computer.
4. Be active every day: Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster and to enjoy deeper sleep. For some people, they find that exercise too close to bedtime makes them feel too energized to fall asleep.
5. Avoid late meals and drinks: Large meals, beverages containing caffeine and alcohol drinks before bed time can make it difficult to get a good night’s rest.
6. Avoid napping before bedtime: If you tend to take a cat nap in the recliner after dinner, get up and do something to avoid falling asleep, such as washing the dishes, packing your lunch for the next day, or walking the dog.
7. Don’t fight sleep: If you’re not asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room, and do something relaxing, like reading or listening to music until you are tired enough to sleep.
If getting a good night’s rest is a challenge for you, keeping a sleep log may help you find habits you can adjust, like exercising earlier in the day. But if you try making changes and still have trouble sleeping, make an appointment to talk to your doctor. You and your doctor can work out a plan to help you sleep better and feel better.
Click here to download a sample sleep diary.