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Mental wellbeing: Why sleep is so important — and how to improve it
Wednesday, 29 July · 2 min read

Increased stress or anxiety, and sudden changes in your routine can easily affect how well you sleep. This in turn can make you more stressed, anxious or depressed.

Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night is important to maintain your energy levels, immune system, ability to concentrate, and your mood and mental wellbeing in general.

It’s not clear why this is, but changes to your sleeping pattern may alter chemicals in your brain that affect mood.

Studies suggest that a good night's sleep helps your brain handle emotions and mental difficulties better. They also suggest longer-term sleep issues may lead to negative thinking.

If you're finding it hard to sleep well at the moment, here are 6 things you can try to get a good night's rest:

  • go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
  • get fresh air and daylight each day — exposure to sunlight can have a positive impact on how well you sleep at night
  • avoid naps during the day — this can make it harder to get to sleep at night
  • get regular exercise — this can help you sleep better, but don’t do high-intensity exercise like a run or a workout within 4 hours of going to bed as this can keep you awake
  • relax before bed — this could mean listening to soothing music, reading a book or taking a bath
  • avoid looking at screens just before bed — the blue light from these devices can keep you awake
Quote of the day

Sleep is the best meditation.

Dalai Lama

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