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How To Improve Your Mental Health and Sleep - HelloHealth

How to Improve Your Mental Health and Sleep

Good sleep is one of many keys to a healthy life. Sleep affects physical activity and how the mind works. Sleeping well allows the body time to repair and heal, including repairing damaged cells in the brain, improving mental health, reducing depression and anxiety, promoting the healing process in the body, and providing for a good mood. Mental health and sleep are interrelated and affect each other. Sleep problems may harm mental health, as well as mental health problems may also lead to sleep problems. 

Learn how to improve mental health and sleep now.

mental health

The Mental Health And Sleep Connection

Mental health and sleep relationships are complex. While good sleep is important for mental health maintenance, bad sleep can make mental health substantially worse. 

A good night’s sleep can help in building mental and emotional resilience. When you experience repeated poor sleep, it may cause emotional vulnerability and negative thinking.  This occurs as good sleep helps the brain process emotional information, while a poor night’s sleep can make this positive procession harmed and harder to manage, it also negatively affects mood, behaviors, energy levels, daily performance, etc., and leads to anxiety, depression, food overuse, worsening memory, poor impulse control, substance misuse, etc. 

The brain transfers information through some brain cells called synapses. These cells get overloaded after a long tiring day and may overfire. Sleep may aid in the restoration of proper synapse function.

mental health sleep

5 Mental Health Syndromes People Face

Depression-
Depression may be categorized through repeated sad thoughts and feelings of helplessness. Many factors such as genetics, stress, anxiety, nutrition, and lack of sleep affect depression. It is a serious condition that affects how people feel and what people do in everyday life. It also makes it hard to think clearly or make decisions about important things in life. 

Stress-
Stress is a common source of mental health disorders that cause a wide range of symptoms such as irritability, mood swings, and fatigue. Sleep plays an important role in the body’s response to stress and helps it cope with it. A good night’s sleep can help the body process some stress.

Anxiety -
Anxiety is the feeling of fear or worry about something happening now or may happen in the future. It causes people to feel tense, restless, and irritable. Improving anxiety levels by helping the brain will release chemicals like serotonin which can help people with anxiety. 

Schizophrenia-
Schizophrenia is a serious mental health condition that affects how people think, feel, and act. People with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations or delusions, which can make it hard to communicate with others and work normally. 


Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is where people have periods of extreme highs (mania) and lows ( depression). Bipolar disorder may be assisted by restoring normal brain functions with medicine, nutrients, and stress reduction.

Ways To Improve Mental Health and Sleep

It is often said that a healthy mind and body lead to a happy life. But how can we achieve the kind of healthy mind that we desire? Learn a few ways to have a healthy mind and a happy life now.

Sleep: 

Sleep is very important for both the brain and body, to restore and repair. A shortage of sleep may lead to a lack of focus, clarity, feeling overwhelmed, and inability to process information as efficiently as when there is plenty of sleep.  It is suggested that while naps can help, it may be best to avoid taking daytime naps for more than 30 minutes and try to keep to a nighttime routine.

Exercise regularly:

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to improve mental health. By exercising regularly, the body and brain optimally perform. Exercise helps to release feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which can raise mood. Another chemical called nitric oxide is also released by exercising that improves blood flow to major muscle groups and the brain. 

Eat well:

People who have good eating habits are less likely to suffer from stress or depression. Healthy eating supports a stronger mind through the brain-gut axis. Eating high-nutrient foods that support moods such as fish oil rich in omega-3s, nuts ( Peanuts, cashew, almonds, walnuts), rainbow fruits, and fresh vegetables are important.  

Self-care:

Doing things that make you happy is one of the best ways to improve mental health.  Creating time to do things and be with people that make you happy are important to healthy aging, brain health, and overall life satisfaction.  Additionally, allowing for free time to relax, find new hobbies, or think about positive things of the day, even the smallest happy moment, can contribute to overall happiness.  Daily use of a journal, meditating, praying, and writing down good daily activities, and reflecting on them, can be a great way to recharge. 

Avoid drugs and alcohol:

Drugs and alcohol just affect not only the body but also the mind. These may affect how you think, feel and act and make you more susceptible to feeling highs and lows than usual. 

Others:
Along with the above, include some good habits in the daily routine to improve mental health.

  • Recharge yourself with natural sunlight vitamin-D and/or use of a Vitamin D3 supplement,

  • Ensure the bedroom is dark, quiet, and comfortable, and stop using electronic devices (television, computers, phones) an hour before going to bed.

  • Create a consistent sleep schedule and work toward 7+ hours of sleep every day.

  • Remove all unnecessary things from the bedroom, like clothes, books, etc., and don’t use the bed for any other activity apart from sleeping.

  • Enjoy a cool shower just before going to bed, and sleep comfortably in a relaxed and quiet environment.


Mental Health and Sleep Support Supplements

In addition to exercise, mindfulness, and self-care, nutrition is a key part of mental health and sleep.  It can be difficult to get proper nutrition solely from food.  For optimal health and wellness, adding supplements to the diet can be helpful.  Please note: before adding any kind of natural supplement to your diet, consult with an expert or a physician. 


Magnesium Glycinate Supplements
Magnesium (particularly magnesium glycinate) supplements are made with essential nutrients that prepare the body and brain to rest, allow restful sleep (avoiding insomnia), and boost brainpower. Magnesium also produces melatonin that helps the brain to release tension and is ready for sleep.  Magnesium is found in leafy green vegetables, fish, whole grains, and beans.


Omega-3 Supplements
Omega-3s are fatty acids proven to help in focus, mood, and sleep. It is a nutrient that helps the brain function properly; it also keeps the body healthy and supports those that suffer from depression. Omega-3s also help in mood stabilizing and are effective in boosting conventional antidepressants.It regulates neurodevelopment and supports mood, increasing the ability to think, plan and feel pleasure.Usually, omega-3s are made with fish and fish oil, but vegan omega 3-s are also available (microalgae or flaxseed oil). 


Mushroom Supplements
Mushroom supplements are another helpful supplement to reduce stress and ensure better sleep. A study conducted in the UK showed that women who took 200mg of a supplement containing a mushroom source of bioactive molecules improved sleep quality. The mushroom supplement contains a mushroom fruiting body with many vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes that are helpful for the body and brain.


Conclusion
Mental health and sleep are essential pieces to living a fulfilling life. By adding in healthy routines, nutrition, exercise, supplements, and mindfulness, people can support their health and wellness as well as those close to them that also need support in living their best lives.

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