Want Better Sleep? Give Your Brain a Break

Let’s recognize Mental Health Week, May 6-10 th, 2024, by paying attention to our sleep. The bidirectional relationship between sleep and mental health indicates it’s worth attention.

Did you know?

  • Up to 80% of people with mental health problems have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (CAMH).
  • Frequent awakenings can contribute significantly to deteriorating mood and negative emotions.

A powerful way to improve our sleep is by giving our minds time to power down. Going from awake to asleep isn’t an ON/OFF switch; it’s a dimmer switch! Getting there smoothly requires gradually decreasing all forms of stimulation the 2-3 hours before bedtime. This includes visual stimulation such as screens and bright lights or digestive stimulation like eating a meal high in sugar or fat, but have you also considered what’s going on in your mind?

Too much cognitive stimulation can also harm our sleep; revving up our brains with executive thinking, trying to come up with ideas or solutions, and even the high-intensity entertainment we choose are potentially poor sleep hygiene choices.

Give your mind a break by avoiding these types of scenarios just before bed:
– Heavy conversations with your spouse or kids
– Nail-biting “who dunnit” TV shows or series
– Checking your inbox to prepare for tomorrow’s workday

Check out this short Wellness Snack video for better bedtime ideas.


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