5 Mental Health Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep
If you’ve ever had a bad night’s sleep (who hasn’t?), you already know how terrible it can feel. Irritability, lethargy, low productivity–you’re just not yourself. Even one night can do that, so it’s no wonder that chronic poor sleep can affect your mental health.
And that sleep-mental health relationship goes both ways: If you don’t sleep well, your risk of depression, anxiety, and other disorders increases. Then, mental health conditions can, by turn, cause sleep disruptions. It can become a vicious cycle–which is why it’s so important to sleep well for your mental health.
What is “good” sleep?
Most adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Along with the quantity, quality is also important. Good quality sleep means you fall asleep efficiently, sleep through the night without interruption, and wake feeling rested.
How to get good sleep
If you have trouble sleeping, you’re not alone; at least 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. don’t regularly get the recommended amount of sleep. But there are some simple steps you can take to rest better, beginning tonight:
- Stick to consistent sleep/wake times: Go to bed and wake up as close to the same time each night and morning as possible. A consistent sleep schedule can help you fall asleep more efficiently and get more quality sleep.
- Set up a sleep cave: Optimize your bedroom for sleep by making it dark, cool, and quiet. Blackout curtains can help, and if you can’t control the noise, try a white noise machine.
- Use a healthy sleep aid: Natural sleep aids can be a simple, convenient way to help your body get ready for good rest. Cornbread Hemp CBD Sleep Gummies are melatonin-free, and contain USDA organic CBD extract, organic valerian root, chamomile, and lavender to aid in a healthy sleep cycle.
- Close the kitchen: Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol within a few hours of bedtime.
- Manage your light exposure: Get light into your eyes first thing in the morning, and dim the lights and avoid screens close to bedtime. This helps to set your body’s clock, so it knows when to wake up and be alert, and when to settle down for rest.
Mental health benefits of good sleep
The steps above are certainly worth the effort when it comes to the sleep-mental health connection. With so many of us focused on mental health these days, it’s a perfect moment to take a closer look at sleep.
Here are five important mental health benefits of good sleep:
- Have more positive interactions. While we’re sleeping, our brains are busy processing new information, memories and emotions. Without adequate sleep, we tend to be more emotionally reactive. For example, if someone cuts in front of you in line, do you want to let it go (or point it out calmly and kindly), or fly off the handle and yell at the person? Giving your brain the rest it needs to do all of its work can help you show up in the world the way you want to.
- Solve problems more efficiently. We all have problems to solve and decisions large and small to make every day. Research shows that sleep makes it easier to solve problems. Both the processes that take place in the brain while we sleep and the benefit of being rested help.
- Stress less. Lack of sleep sends a signal to the body that it’s in danger, causing a physical stress response. Our bodies are designed to manage bursts of stress followed by rest and relaxation. But if you’re frequently sleep deprived and have chronic stress, that can lead to symptoms like anxiety, depression, irritability, or panic attacks.
- Focus better. Adequate sleep helps with concentration, attention, memory, and creativity. Simply put, regular quality sleep can help you stay on task and learn more efficiently. Not only does that make your daily life easier, it also can help reduce your daily stress.
- Improved mood. Research shows that lack of sleep is not only associated with depression, anxiety, irritability and other negative emotions, but also that it can blunt what’s known as “positive affect”; that is, emotions such as cheerfulness, joy, and enthusiasm. So not only can quality sleep help you just feel better in general, it also can help you to enjoy life’s pleasures more acutely.
Read next: 8 Dinners to Eat for a Better Night’s Sleep