Is tossing and turning a regular part of your night? How about falling asleep, but not staying asleep? If your sleep patterns are sporadic, the lack of rest can leave you feeling tired, irritable, and usually looking like a raccoon, […]
Is tossing and turning a regular part of your night? How about falling asleep, but not staying asleep? If your sleep patterns are sporadic, the lack of rest can leave you feeling tired, irritable, and usually looking like a raccoon, too!
Over time, sleeplessness and sleep disorders can contribute to the symptoms of depression. The most common disorder, insomnia, has the strongest link to depression. In a 2007 study of 10,000 people, those with insomnia were five times as likely to develop depression as those without insomnia. In fact, insomnia is often one of the first symptoms of clinical depression.
sleep-deprived1When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down your skin’s collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic. Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly weight gain over time as well.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try these steps to get a better sleep nights’ rest:
1-Get into a Routine
Train your body and mind to get up and go to bed at a specific time every day. Soon enough, your body will start to recognize that it’s getting close to that “bedtime”, and you will likely become tired.
It’s a good idea to power down the tablets, laptops, and televisions a few minutes before actually going to bed. The reason is that electronics have a tendency to stimulate the brain and keep you awake longer.
3-Focus on your Breath
If you’ve been in bed for more than 20 minutes and have not fallen asleep, it’s recommended to start taking deep breaths. Deep breaths, both inhaling and exhaling, will relax your body and bring down your heart rate.
4-Clear your Mind
We all have worries, but lying in bed going over the day’s events and worrying about tomorrow while you’re trying to fall asleep is the worst thing to do. Just let it go – the day is over. Accept it for what it is and focus on getting some rest, because 8 hours later the problems will still be there.
What works best for you on sleepless nights? Listening to music? Taking a walk? Let us know what your plan is when you can’t sleep!