Beating Your Anxiety for a Better Night's Sleep

A woman sleeping in her bed

Getting enough sleep is important to good health. Sleep provides many benefits for your physical and mental health. Sleep:

  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Helps brain function stay sharp and contributes to complex thinking, learning, memory and decision making
  • Enhances your mood and energy
  • Improves mental health

Lack of sleep is linked to depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Stress levels have been high lately for many people who are struggling with fears and anxieties about COVID-19, finances, illness of loved ones and social isolation.

Practice Good Sleeping Habits

Here are some tips for getting better sleep:

  • Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
  • Avoid napping, or keep them short — less than an hour — and don’t nap after 3 p.m.
  • Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
  • Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on weekends.
  • If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, or if you wake up during the night and can’t fall asleep again, get out of bed and do something relaxing, like reading or listening to music until you feel sleepy.
  • If you smoke, quit. Nicotine stimulates the body in ways that can disrupt sleep.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Remove electronic devices such as computers and phones from the bedroom.

Some of these tips may be easier to include in your daily and nightly routine than others. However, if you stick with them, your chances of achieving restful sleep will improve. If your sleep difficulties don’t get better after trying these good sleep hygiene tips, you may want to speak to your doctor.

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