Sleep is very important to our cognitive function, including energy levels, concentration, as well as short and long-term memory. Lack of sleep or insomnia can cause anxiety, irritability, fatigue, and poor concentration and contribute to memory impairment.
Even one night of staying out too late or not being able to sleep because of stress or even too much caffeine can make you will feel tired, irritable, and anxious for several days.
Make sleep a priority every day. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep daily in order to feel refreshed each morning.
Some tips for sleeping better:
- Go to bed at the same time each night.
- Get up from bed at the same time each day. Try to maintain the same timing, even on weekends.
- Get regular exercise each day, preferably in the morning. There is good evidence that suggests that regular exercise improves restful sleep. This includes stretching and aerobic exercise.
- Get regular exposure to outdoor or bright lights, especially in the late afternoon.
- Keep the temperature in your bedroom cool and comfortable.
- Keep your bedroom quiet when sleeping.
- Keep your bedroom dark enough to facilitate sleep.
- Use your bed only for sleep and sexual activity. This will help you associate your bed with sleep. Avoid using your bed for other activities like paying bills, talking on the phone, and watching TV.
- Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine. Relaxing rituals prior to bed could include a warm bath or shower, aromatherapy, reading, or listening to soothing music, massage, sitting meditation, and practicing yoga or any stretching exercise.
- Use a relaxation exercise. Before going to sleep, try using relaxation imagery. This involves visualizing a positive, peaceful setting like a beautiful beach or quiet meadow. Even if you don’t fall asleep, this will allow your body to rest and feel relaxed.
- Avoid sensitive or serious conversations and stimulating activities right before bedtime – parties, watching TV, using electronic devices, etc.
- Eliminate negative sleep thoughts. Don’t go to bed anticipating having a bad night. Don’t remind yourself of how many hours of sleep you need or are going to get. These negative thoughts can increase your anxiety about sleep and cause more restless nights.
If you are still having problems with sleep. Forsyth Psychiatric Associates can help. We have providers and therapists that can help you get to the bottom of your sleep problems and work with you on a plan to overcome insomnia. Give us a call or contact us today. We can help anywhere in North Carolina through telepsychiatry or in person in our Clemmons, NC office. Schedule a visit today.