October 07, 2019 2 min read
Mental health is just as important to our well being as physical health. Getting plenty of shut eye is a corner stone to our mental well being. In fact, you could consider your bed as a kind of gym for your mental well being. If you don't get restful and restorative sleep then the chances are your mental health will suffer. Many people mistakenly pride themselves on burning the candle at both ends. They happily regale stories how they partied all night only to get up at 6 am in the morning ready for work.
The truth is the impact on mental well being can be far reaching. The truth is, human beings are not designed to run efficiently when sleep deprived. According to Dr Thomas Roth at the Henry Ford Hospital 'The number of people who can survive on five hours of sleep or less without any impairment, expressed as percent of the population, and rounded to a whole number, is zero'
Most of us are aware that lack of sleep can shorten our fuse. 'I'm sorry, I'm just tired' are words that nearly all of us have muttered at some point. We can also recognise the effect of lack of sleep in others. For example, we might excuse someone's irrational behaviour if we are aware that they are lacking on shut eye. Indeed, just one night of poor sleep can lead have us snapping more than a Jack Russell chasing a rabbit. The unfortunate thing is that you can never truly 'catch up' on sleep. This is why it is so important to keep a regular sleeping schedule.
Psychiatry is well aware of the link between sleep problems and mental illness. Indeed, the general view is that mental illness causes sleep disturbances as opposed to the other way round. However, it has been proven that when sleep deprived, otherwise healthy individuals often experience the same neurological pattern of activity as individuals with psychiatric conditions. Whilst we are not saying that lack of sleep is the cause of psychiatric conditions, a lack of it can certainly have a negative impact in the management of these conditions.
The million dollar question... how do we get better sleep? There are a multitude of ways that we can improve our sleep health. Here are just a few ways:-
Turn off technology at least an hour before bed
Keep your bedroom cool
Invest in heavy curtains to keep daylight out. This is especially useful in summer
Try to do something relaxing before you go to bed, such as having a warm bath
Try journaling before bed
Keep to a regular sleep schedule
Indeed, there are a multitude of resources that offer advice on how to get better sleep. Here at Beds On Legs we've written multiple blogs on the topic. You can read one of our blogs here. Another fantastic place to get free advice is the Sleep Council . However, if all these self help techniques fail to work then we would recommend paying a visit to your doctor.