August 8, 2016 by Castlewood Treatment Center in Eating Disorder Treatment It is often said that one of the simplest yet most meaningful things you can do for your mental health is simply to sleep—getting at least eight hours of real rest each night. This provides you with the energy and the optimism you need to face new challenges each day, including the obstacles that sometimes accompany the recovery process.
For some of us, falling to sleep is a breeze, and getting in those eight hours is no big deal. Others are not so lucky. In fact, there are many who wrestle with sleeplessness each and every night, and for whom real rest is elusive.
There are various ways to combat sleeplessness, and one of the most effective is ensuring that your body is ready for sleep each night. We’ll offer a few tips on how you can accomplish that.
Ways to Get Your Body Ready for Sleep
Unplug. Here’s something that may be difficult for some, but is ultimately critical: Turn off your phone, your tablet, and your laptop before you go to bed. In fact, giving yourself an hour of two of unplugged time before bed is ideal. The reason for this is simple: The blue light that your electronic devices emit can actually mess with your internal rhythms and keep your body and mind from finding rest. This is not an old wives’ tale. Unplugging before bed really does help you sleep better.
Take a bath. Anything you can do to ease your tension and to allow your body to relax will ultimately help you find sleep. One of the best ways to do this is to soak in the tub, perhaps with some bath salts or bubbles to accompany you. You can quite literally wash away the stress of the day, and be less tense when bedtime comes. If you do not happen to like baths, a shower can have much the same effect.
Get a massage. You can go to a professional masseuse, of simply ask your partner to knead out your muscle tension. Either way, a good massage can go a long way toward working out the kinks of daily stress, and getting you loose and relaxed before bedtime.
Do something quiet and relaxing. Turn the volume down and lower the excitement level in your room; spend some time engaged in something that will help you to mellow out a bit before you hit the sack. Listening to some quiet music, knitting, painting, or simply reading a good book—all of these activities can work.
Avoid stimulants. One way to ruin your body and mind for sleep is to load up on caffeine and other simulants throughout the day. If at all possible, cut the coffee and the soda no later than noon each day, and give your body time to work it out of your system before bedtime comes.
Walk or jog. Another way to prepare your body for bed is to get some physical activity during the day, though we recommend doing this earlier in the day if possible. You don’t necessarily want to get the blood pumping and the heart rate up right before you turn in.
Sleep is important, and you cannot necessarily leave it up to chance. Start doing what you need to do to prepare yourself for a restful night.
If you’re struggling with sleeplessness due to an anxiety disorder, contact the Castlewood team now.