Tips to Overcome Insomnia for Better Mental Health

Tips to Overcome Insomnia for Better Mental Health

We all know that sleep is crucial to our overall health, and that serious problems can arise from not getting enough regular, quality slumber. Just how crucial is sleep, though, and what effects can it end up having on our state of mental health? Insomnia is a condition that is unfortunately way too common and is categorized by the inability to sleep throughout the night, waking up consistently, and feeling tired during the day. Insomnia can create a lot of stress surrounding sleep, which of course does not make it easier to wind down when bedtime does finally roll around.

Mental health disorders are often linked in some way to insomnia, so meeting with an insomnia specialist has the potential to help immensely with this specific problem. Dr. Messina & Associates has a team of experts that can effectively help clients manage their mental health concerns in a healthy manner through practices like CBT and medication management, which in turn can improve the ability to sleep well exponentially. Our team of psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists are ready to help you get piece of mind. Let’s talk a bit more about the connection between insomnia and mental health, as well as some useful tactics for sleeping better that can be integrated right away.

 

How Does Quality of Sleep Correlate to Mental Health?

The sleep we do – or rather do not – get correlates to our mental health more than we may even realize. When quality sleep is not being had, this can heavily contribute to feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, isolation, and irritability throughout the day. This can quickly become a vicious cycle that can cause even more inability to sleep when the time comes. Once you are finally able to drift off, you may find it to be fleeting and quite insufficient. Let’s break down exactly how inadequate sleep relates to the following mental illnesses:

Anxiety

When it comes to anxiety, it can absolutely play a major role in both the ability to sleep and the overall quality of it. Those that suffer from insomnia may deal with anxious and worrisome thoughts when it is time for bed, making it practically impossible to fall and stay asleep. Someone might feel extreme anxiety thinking about the need to fall asleep, which will only make that much more difficult to. This insufficient sleep will eventually take a toll on the physical health of an individual, only worsening symptoms of anxiety over time, as well.

Depression

Depression and the ability to sleep are highly correlated, as a major symptom of depression is extreme fatigue that can make it feel unattainable to get out of bed most days. This translates into the inability to sleep when nighttime does come, and this can become a huge dilemma when it comes to work and other responsibilities that need to be taken care of throughout the week.

PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is unfortunately linked to struggles with insomnia quite often. For someone that struggles with PTSD, night terrors, panic attacks, and flashbacks can all occur when they are asleep. When this happens, it of course affects the quality of sleep that is had, and it makes the individual much more afraid and unlikely to get to sleep peacefully each night.

These are just a few of the ways that inadequate sleep is connected to various mental health concerns. If there is no intervention and poor sleep health continues for a long period of time, the mental state will only get worse. It is imperative to make sleep a priority so that the rest of the mind and body can be supported as much as possible, and we are going to discuss some useful ways this can be done next.

 

How to Improve Your Sleep Habits

There are several different ways to work on improving sleep habits right away. Many have daytime and nighttime routines that are not conducive to a healthy night of sleep without even realizing it. Putting your focus toward everything needed to promote a great night of sleep can certainly make a world of a difference.

Start During the Daytime

It is important to not wait until the sun goes down to start concentrating on your sleep habits. What you do during the day plays a role, as well, and we need to be mindful of our actions and habits and whether or not they are advantageous to healthy nights of sleep. Getting in some form of exercise, not drinking caffeine too late in the day, making sure to not take naps, and eating balanced meals are a few ways to ensure that you are giving your body and mind the best chance of winding down at night.

Create a Routine

Having a set nighttime routine is vital to getting better sleep. You have probably heard before how important this is, but it is simply just that true. You can accommodate your routine to however you desire, which is the great part. A beneficial routine might look like winding down with a warm bath or shower, having some herbal tea, meditating, and reading before it’s time to lay down for bed. Regardless of what your routine looks like, be intentional and consistent with it to let your brain know that these actions mean it is time to sleep.

Turn Off the Screens

With the times we are living in, it is so easy to just lie awake for hours on end in bed scrolling through our e-mails or social media. The lights that are built into our phones, televisions, and computer are totally detrimental towards our ability to fall asleep. The blue lights we stare at tell our brains that it is not time to sleep, and they even inhibit the ability to produce enough natural melatonin. Making an effort to shut off the screens at least an hour before bed can make a huge difference in the evening.

If we want to take care of our bodies and minds to the best of our ability, quality sleep is key. Insomnia is incredibly frustrating to deal with, and it can leave someone feeling drained and more unstable over time. Making sleep health a priority is so important, and it is essential to remember that there are plenty of resources out there that can make this issue easier to handle. Meeting with an insomnia specialist and integrating favorable practices can have you catching those much-needed Zzz’s in no time.

 

Getting Help

Dr. Messina & Associates offers in person and online appointments to help patients with a variety of mental health concerns. Our skilled team of experts has psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists to help you on your journey. Reach out for an appointment today. 

Author
Dr. Michael Messina

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