There are many different factors in your life that can contribute to your anxiety. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because it means that these factors can be leveraged as tools to support your mental health. A couple of major influences on your anxiety levels include lack of sleep duration or lack of quality sleep. Each of these factors can have a great impact on your mental health. A sleep routine catered to your needs can make a big difference in your mental health.
What is a Sleep Routine?
Perhaps the idea of a sleep routine is foreign to you, so let’s start with the basics. A sleep routine is a routine you practice every night before you sleep. This could last any length of time that works for you. Some people have a 15 minute sleep routine, whereas others have one that takes 2 hours. It’s all about creating a sequence of activities that suits you.
What are the Benefits of a Sleep Routine?
There is so much that a sleep routine can offer, especially for those struggling with anxiety. Firstly, a sleep routine can help you fall asleep. Falling asleep is so difficult for some people, as this time of day tends to remove distractions and can leave you with your own racing thoughts. By setting a predetermined sequence of events, you can teach your body to expect sleep once the routine is complete. Of course, this can take some time. But if you struggle with getting to sleep, it’s totally worth it.
Duration of Sleep
Let’s face it: there’s never enough time in the day to get everything done! But it can be tough to settle in when you feel like your to-do list is piling up. This is another good reason to start a sleep routine. A big part of the routine is having a set time at which the routine begins. This allows you to stay consistent with your bedtime.
Not only that, but creating a consistent flow of sleep duration (when you go to sleep and get up) will allow you to sleep better throughout the night. Again, this call comes back to creating expectations. Your body will know when it is time to sleep, and eventually how long it can expect to sleep by repeating the same pattern.
Quality of Sleep
Giving yourself time and space to wind down at the end of the night can enhance the quality of your sleep too. Slowly bringing yourself to a state of relaxation can influence the quality of your sleep. Plus, if a part of your sleep routine includes managing some things that will help you in the morning (such as choosing your outfit or packing your lunch), this can impact your stress and cortisol levels, which in turn influences your sleep.
Sleep Routine Ideas
Your sleep routine should be as unique as you are. It’s important to add in elements that help you wind down, reduce stress, and create a sense of routine. Here are some ideas of what you can implement:
- Herbal, non-caffeinated tea
- Bath or shower
- Essential Oils
- Dim lights
- Breathing exercises
- Light a candle
- Relaxing music
Having a sleep routine can influence your mental health and your anxiety in a positive way. It can help you feel more prepared so that you worry less and relax easier. It does require a little bit of conscious decision making and consistency, but it’s so worth it for the benefit it can bring.