Sleep is a vital part of mental and physical health. You will notice fewer “bad days” if you have had a good night’s rest. Never underestimate the power of sleep. That being said, those who suffer from anxiety and depression usually seem to lack in the number of hours they get.
You’re probably thinking at this point that you have tried all that you can to get some sleep. That’s fair. I’m just going to talk about some of the things that have worked for me in the hopes that you try it out as well.
Listening to Music
There are so many playlists and songs out there that claim to help lull you to sleep. However, the one that I find that works – for about 70% of the time – is an eight-hour song by Marconi Union called Weightless.
This song is designed to slow your heart rate down and reduce anxiety. Not convinced? Try it out yourself!
Stopping the Phone Addiction
So, this is pretty straight-forward. Try an experiment for yourself. Put down your phone, laptop, tablet, or other technological gadget you may have and do something that your teachers bug you about in school. Read. Try it out for a week and see if that makes a difference.
Another tool that I highly recommend is the blue light filter. There are several apps out there that help you filter out blue light. You can customize the brightness, the level of redness you see, and the time that it activates itself. I was a skeptic about this one, but it does seem to help. The blue light emitted from your device tricks your brain into thinking that it isn’t time to sleep yet and inhibits melatonin production. This is why you stay awake longer.
Okay, now bear with me on this one. Meditation works. Just take 5 minutes for yourself before going to bed. That’s it. The method that has worked for me to help me meditate is this: imagine that a white light is shining down on your head. As you breathe in and out, imagine it flowing down, covering you from head to toe.
The key element in meditation is forgiveness. You will be distracted. You will be thinking constantly. That’s okay. Don’t be rude to yourself while you do this. Be kind. Be gentle. Meditation requires a lot of discipline and control, so don’t worry if you don’t make it to the full 5 minutes right away. You will get there eventually.
The meditation helper that I use is a part of an app called: Fabulous: Motivate Me. This is an amazing app and I highly recommend it. I will be talking about this in greater detail at another time.
We usually fall victims to the altered sleep schedule on weekends and holidays. I am not asking you to wake up at 6 in the morning every day. Instead, just be mindful of the time you go to sleep and when you get up. For example: if you wake up at 6:30 am during the weekdays, try not to fall asleep so late on the weekends that cause you to get up after 12pm. It’s harder for your body to adjust.
And, as always, be kind to yourself. Remember: take care of the little things, and the larger issues will begin to dissolve.
Sleep well everyone!