TIPS AND TRIKS ON HOW BETTER SLEEP CAN IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AND OVERALL WELLBEING
Insomnia and having trouble sleeping is something I struggled with for a few years and for some time negatively impacted my mental health and overall quality of life.
 
When I do not get enough sleep I find that my moods are less stable and it is hard to focus or be productive. I noticed that when I was stressed, anxious or had a lot on my mind it was a lot worse. 
 
Over time and through research I have found a few tips and tricks that have been extremely helpful. If you also have trouble sleeping I would suggest trying a few these at a time to see what works best for you. My first tip is to work on the root of the problem, which for me was the anxiety and stress. 
 
I found that it was essential that I recognised what was making me feel stressed or anxious and did not try to avoid the problem by eating junk food or watching Netflix. Every week I make a plan of all the work I need to get done so it does not feel overwhelming. 
 
I tend to stress about what I eat so I try to make most of my meals healthy and nutritious because I feel like "a healthy body a healthy mind". However, I make sure not to be too hard on myself and enjoy treats throughout the week.
 
Being active by going for a run or doing a quick at-home work out in my room has personally been the most effective way for relieving stress.
 
My next tip is to establish a routine before bed, that works with your schedule so you can create a pattern of winding down before bed. Personally, not eating past 7 PM or about four hours before I go to sleep has been helpful because I have less energy and feel physically more tired. I believe that it is also really important to stay off your phone at least an hour before bed. Minimising phone usage before bed has been proven to improve the quality of sleep.
 
I find that I have trouble sleeping because I have a lot on my mind, so journaling before bed has been extremely effective in calming my state of mind. My current night routine is consistent every night and signifies my body and mind that it is time to get ready to go to sleep.
 
Lastly, I have a few tips that I have implemented throughout my day to improve my sleep at night. My first suggestion is to limit caffeine consumption throughout the day. This may be difficult but it helps establish a more natural sleep pattern and reduce anxiety.
 
I also keep my room clean and organised because I find that it helps my stress levels immensely. I have certain days where I do laundry and my grocery shopping so my obligations never feel overwhelming.
 
Lastly, if there is ever a night where sleeping feels impossible, a cup of tea, a warm shower or face masks are simple but effective ways to relax. Managing stress is difficult and something we all struggle with but it is extremely important to get enough sleep because it can immensely impact your mental health positively or negatively.
Words by Kira Pauline