Although often overlooked, sleep is the foundation of our wellbeing. Research shows that many of us are sleep deprived, and we may not realise that we have got used to a lower standard of well-being which has become our new normal. Improving our sleep quality and hours of sleep a night, therefore, creates the possibility to improve how we feel day-to-day. According to The Sleep Foundation, sleep hygiene is “a variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good night-time sleep quality and full daytime alertness”.
Challenges with getting to sleep, staying asleep, waking too early and sleeping too much are all very common with mental health difficulties. Improved sleep hygiene can help us to overcome these challenges and, in turn, feel a little better.
Challenges with getting to sleep, staying asleep, waking too early and sleeping too much are all very common with mental health difficulties.
My name is Amy, and I have just graduated from a degree in Psychology. I really enjoyed my degree and the vast range of psychology areas it exposed me to. I took a placement year after my second year and worked as an Assistant Psychologist for nine months. Here, I was able to work directly with individuals dealing with many different mental health difficulties, which really opened my eyes to just how many people are suffering silently. I was also struck by how alone individuals felt, despite many experiencing very similar challenges. I am therefore keen to normalise mental health difficulties as they are often a natural response to our experiences and, unfortunately, very prevalent in the modern world we live in.
Before the very strange circumstances we find ourselves in currently, lack of sleep wasn’t often an issue for me. However, I’m sure many people can relate to an increase in sleepless nights that have come with the current lockdown restrictions. I have therefore put together a guide of some tips to increase sleep hygiene, which are a mix of key points from reliable resources and advice from my own experiences.