Top tips to help you sleep more soundly

Expert gives tips for sleeping soundly this Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond

By Fiona Evans
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 11:53 am
Keeping to a bedtime schedule is among tips to help people sleep more soundly (photo: Adobe)
Keeping to a bedtime schedule is among tips to help people sleep more soundly (photo: Adobe)

Set in stone, it frequently appears alongside the other commandments of self-care.

But a good night's sleep can be elusive - especially if you're in the grip of poor mental health; and likewise, lousy sleep can adversely affect your mental health.

As mental health charity, Mind, explains on its website: "There's a close relationship between sleep and mental health. Living with a mental health problem can affect how well you sleep, and poor sleep can have a negative impact on your mental health."

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Around 16 million UK adults suffer from sleepless nights with two thirds (67 per cent) suffering from disrupted sleep, according to recent research.

But making simple changes to bedtime habits can have a profound impact on mental well-being.

To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week (May 9 to 15), Silentnight has shared its sleeping tips to improve a range of mental health issues including loneliness, which is the theme of this year's campaign.

Loneliness affects many Brits throughout the year and is known to be a key driver of poor mental health.

Silentnight’s sleep expert, Hannah Shore, reveals top tips for helping you sleep more soundly:

1 Keep to a bedtime schedule

Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day programmes the body to sleep better, resulting in feeling more motivated and positive throughout the day.

2 Enjoy the outdoors

Going outside and being exposed to natural daylight can really help boost your mood and increase energy levels.

3 Turn off the devices

Turning off any devices or screens at least an hour before bedtime can make it easier to fall asleep and wake up the following day.

4 Wind down before bed

Winding down properly before falling asleep can improve the quality of sleep. Participating in relaxing activities helps the brain refocus and remain calm.

5 Clear the mind

Making a list before bed to relieve any heavy thoughts can be beneficial, alongside lunch preparation or picking out your outfit the night before.

6 Create a good environment

Achieve a good environment for sleeping in with support from a good mattress and pillow, regulate a comfortable room temperature and consider lined curtains to block out any unwanted light.

7 Avoid late afternoon naps

Avoid late afternoon napping as this can make daytime sleepiness worse because it can interfere with nighttime sleep.

However, a short midday nap can boost memory, improve job performance, and lift the mood.

“It’s so important to consider how sleep can affect our mental well-being," said Hannah Shore, sleep knowledge and researcher manager at Silentnight.

"Implementing small steps into your evening routine can really make the world of difference, from helping you have an undisturbed sleeping pattern to increasing your mood.

“Loneliness has been a huge issue over the past couple of years and this can have a negative impact on mental health. Connecting with a friend, family member or neighbour can cheer you up instantly.”

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