Songs have been written about the blues, but there’s nothing alluring about being mired in a feeling of depression when everyone else seems to be busy socializing and having so much fun. If you’re feeling down emotionally during the New Year, there might be one easy solution to try at home that could help you regain some feelings of contentment.
According to the providers at Wellness Treatment Center, Englewood, CO, beating the blues could be as simple as developing some good sleep habits through an individualized sleep therapy program. Sleep therapy is an effective technique that can help elevate moods, increase productivity and safeguard health in people who have been struggling with depression.
How does sleep affect health?
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, sleep helps support healthy brain function by refreshing the mind, eliminating unnecessary details and preparing for the new day to come. Sleep helps you learn new things, be creative, focus attention and make decisions.
Sleep is also critical for emotional well-being, helping you handle your emotions, adapt to changes and solve problems. Having enough sleep can help you handle stress in life.
Physically, sleep helps your body repair itself and heal as well as boost needed hormone levels. It supports a healthy immune system, keeping viruses and disease at bay. It can also help you perform better during the day, increasing your physical safety. Finally, getting good sleep is crucial for achieving an ideal weight.
What are some good sleep habits?
If getting enough sleep is difficult for you, try developing some carefully-crafted habits that may help you get the 7-10 hours recommended for most adults. Starting with good sleep hygiene, it isn’t hard or expensive to create the perfect atmosphere for sleeping.
Here are some suggestions for improving your sleep habits:
- Have a set time – going to sleep and getting up at the same time each day can help your body’s sleep and wake rhythms become more reliable. It can also ensure you get the full hours needed to reach your goal.
- Go dark – use lined curtains and blinds to create as dark an atmosphere as possible. If a nightlight is needed, choose a dim one or put it in the hallway.
- Limit naps – try to change any bad habits of sleeping during the day and tossing-and-turning during the night by limiting naps to 15 minutes once a day, or eliminate them altogether.
- Get sleepy – spend the last hour before bed doing something quiet like reading, listening to music or talking with the family. Avoid fast-paced movies or computer time. Try taking a hot bath to relax. If you can’t clear your mind, write down things you can’t forget, then set it aside and forget it until tomorrow.
- Go decaf – since the effects of caffeine can last for hours, don’t drink coffee or caffeinated tea or soda in the late afternoon or evening. Watch the chocolate, as well.
- Stay cool – a cooler bedroom has shown to be more conducive to sleep. Add another blanket if you prefer.
- Get exercise – taking a walk each day, cleaning or exercising can all be good ways to keep your body feeling healthy and to be tired at bedtime. Getting sunlight will help, too.
- Go light – avoid heavy meals before bed, stay away from alcohol and ditch nicotine. All of these can interfere with a good sleep cycle.
- Keep the bedroom simple – use the bed only for sleeping to train your brain to be prepared to sleep when you go there. Watching TV, reading books, texting or using your laptop should be banned from your bed. Keep your cell phone facedown to eliminate light and notifications that will stimulate your brain.
- White noise – use a fan, a white noise machine, a humidifier or an air purifier for relaxing sounds to sleep by.
- Relaxation techniques – find some great relaxation techniques to try if you can’t fall asleep or if you wake up and can’t get back to sleep.
If you’re feeling stuck emotionally, give some of these sleep tips a try and see if you can shake some of those downer feelings that are keeping you from feeling good. Keep a log of what works for you and what doesn’t, so you can quickly develop the key sleeping habits that are going to make a positive difference in your life.