Sleep is something we tend to overlook as life gets busier. Studies show that almost half of all adults around the world say that their sleep quality has only gotten worse in recent years. Other studies on sleep disorders in the US also revealed that the prevalence of hypersomnia, narcolepsy, and obstructive sleep apnea has increased significantly since 2013. Needless to say, many people struggle to get good sleep every day and unfortunately, lacking proper rest can lead to a poor quality of life with a higher risk of developing chronic health conditions. Thankfully, sleep problems can be fixed and taking a restorative mental health day can be the key to improving your sleep.
Benefits of a Mental Health Day For Sleep
A restorative mental health day is an excellent way to completely disconnect yourself from work and focus on taking care of your mental health and wellness. You can spend this day alone to rejuvenate yourself or use the time to connect with the people you care about. The main goal is to give your body and mind time to decompress and rest.
You can easily set this on a weekend, but many of us experience weekends that are even busier than the work week. The good news: you can also take a day off from work to dedicate to this process. A lot of offices offer mental health days now in an effort to help employees feel supported in times of distress. So, speak with your workplace to see if this option is available to you.
Whether your workplace offers mental health days or not, taking a day for your mental health is important for improving sleep, reducing stress and rejuvenating your overall health and wellbeing. Some of the most common factors that hinder a good night’s sleep are anxiety, stress, and a busy mind. So, just getting the opportunity to take the load off for a moment can help you rest easier and get the sleep you desperately need.
A mental health day also gives you time to start establishing good habits and giving yourself the treatment you need to truly relax. Whether that’s speaking to someone, going to a spa, or just spending time in nature, putting yourself in a calm environment can improve your mood, lower your cortisol level, and help you unwind. Being in a relaxed state will make it much easier for your body to naturally fall into a comfortable sleep at the end of the day.
It’s not just about taking time to focus on your emotional well-being either. A restorative mental health day can be dedicated to dealing with any physical issues you’ve been dealing with. Meditation and other physical activities can do wonders in improving your body’s condition, with medical studies proving that these activities can also improve your immunity and reduce your risk of disease.
Tips for Improving Sleep by Taking a Mental Health Day
Although improving sleep and taking a mental health day can be different for every person, there are some tips that can help you figure out how to take a restorative mental health day that aids your slumber.
Have a plan
The first thing you may want to look into is setting the schedule before your planned mental health day arrives. You can get more out of the day if you actually have a general plan for what you want to do.
Having a schedule will also help you set any appointments you might want to have for the day, like a nature tour, a massage, a mental health class, or anything that you feel will be refreshing for your body and mind. You can also just plan to use your day to relax at home or tidy up your environment (mess equals stress!).
Make sure your sleep environment is appropriate
Your surroundings can be a big determiner of sleep, so you can start re-organizing your home, getting rid of clutter, and making essential touches to create a relaxing environment that is conducive to sleep. In your bedroom, it helps to pick elements that aren’t distracting while also adding in accents, activities and tools that promote sleep, such as essential oil sleep sprays, deep breathing, and himalayan salt lamps. You may also want to start journaling before bed, to ensure any stressful tasks or pending to-do lists don’t distract your mind.
Practice self-care at night
Adding a self-care night routine to lessen your sleep anxiety. If you like crystals and essential oils, you can even decorate your room with these to improve your mood when it’s time for bed.
Avoid using your tech devices before bed
Once you’ve created a sleep-friendly environment, you may also want to make sure you don’t immerse yourself in electronics at the end of the day. Even if your hobbies are digital, make sure that you take some time during your mental health break to simply disconnect. This allows your body’s circadian rhythm to regulate and steers you away from stressful factors, such as social media, that take away from sleep.
Limit daytime naps – or have one
If you find that you often deal with nightmares or restless sleep, you may want to limit daytime naps to see if this helps with improving sleep. On the other hand, you may want to have a daytime nap if you don’t usually get much rest.
It is truly possible to improve your sleep by taking steps toward better mental health. Tackling issues related to your mental health and overall well-being will naturally trickle over and benefit your sleep patterns. While taking a day for mental health won’t act like a sudden cure, it will have some immediate effects that can be enough to give you the boost you need. Integrating mental health days as a regular part of your life will also have more long-lasting effects on your sleep.
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