The APA and OPA offer 5 practical ideas to reduce stress during the holiday season.Read more
Sleep and Mental Health
Psychological factors are often connected to a person’s ability to sleep. Trouble sleeping may be a symptom of depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD, and other psychological issues. Stress is also a major factor in sleep difficulty. Academic or occupational pressure, familial or marital issues, death or loss, can all contribute to insomnia. Some individuals experience an opposite effect, in which they oversleep and feel drowsy all the time. The emotional reaction to stress becomes entwined with the sleep pattern, which exacerbates the stressful situation.
In general, most adults require 8 hours of sleep. There are some simple steps you can take to improve your sleep routine.
- Remove or turn off electronics (cell phones, televisions, and computers) at night.
- Keep your room darkened, as light interferes with your ability to achieve a deep sleep.
- Avoid serious conversations or arguments with others before bed.
- Take some time to relax before sleeping each night.
- If possible, avoid working, completing paperwork, or reviewing bills before bed.
- Refrain from drinking caffeine or alcohol in the afternoon and evening.
- Develop a routine. Try to go to bed and wake at the same time each day.
If a sleep issue persists or becomes worse with time, speak to a mental healthcare provider. Several modalities, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, have been proven more effective and longer lasting in reducing insomnia than a common sleep medication. A therapist will assist you in thinking differently about sleep and combating the factors that are causing poor sleep habits.
American Psychological Association (2013). Why Sleep is Important and What Happens if you don’t Get Enough. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/topics/sleep/why.aspx#
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