AS TIME ASLEEP LOWERS, SO DOES YOUR MOOD
I made the mistake last night of staying up until the early hours watching a film I’ve been waiting to see. I knew I had an early start this morning but thought to myself “never mind it’s just this once, I’ll get an early night tomorrow night instead”…what a school boy error that was!
At the sound of my alarm a mere 4 hours after I went to sleep, I found myself wanting to pull the covers over my head and forget all about the world. This feeling seems to have lasted throughout the day, the overwhelming urge to cancel appointments/commitments, feeling particularly stressed by situations I can normally handle, being snappy or irritable with people for the slightest reason.
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that I certainly wasn’t feeling myself today, I couldn’t wait to get home and switch off my brain by sitting like a zombie in front of the TV.
Does this experience sound familiar to you? What impact does a lack of sleep have on your well-being?
As I sit here this evening reflecting back on my day, I’m reminded of the times I’ve asked my clients about how much sleep they’re getting, or more importantly how much ‘quality’ sleep they feel they’re getting and us discussing strategies to use improved sleep as a way of tackling low mood and stress levels in their daily life. Good quality sleeping patterns are a vital part of our overall well-being and falling in to bad habits when it comes to going to bed late can act as a direct trigger for increased feelings of stress.
If you find yourself struggling, here are a couple of simple tips to help you get a better night’s sleep…
- Keep your room a ‘sleep only’ space, avoid using electronic devices such as watching TV, using tablets or smart phones which give off bright light whilst laying in bed, this light can keep your brain stimulated and supress the natural urge to fall asleep.
- If your mind feels too ‘full’ to sleep or you’re being kept awake but particular thoughts running through your head, trying keep a notepad and pen next to your bed – every time you have a niggling thought that won’t leave you alone, write the thought down on the notepad – the act of writing it down can form a useful way of ‘releasing’ the thought from your mind and on to paper – enabling you to leave it to one side until the morning.
Right, now that I’ve finished typing this I think it’s time for bed, I just hope my mind remembers how the impact of tiredness felt today the next time I’m seduced into thinking that a late night/early start “just this once” won’t hurt!!