March 4, 2022

Taking time to improve your sleep quality is a great way to improve your mental health and overall well-being. Quality sleep allows your brain to process emotions, thoughts, and memories, empowering improved thinking, learning, and overall mental health. However, sleep deficiencies can make it difficult to control your emotions, cope in an adverse situation, or increase your risk for depression and suicide. 

Research shows that at least one-third of the population struggles to get the recommended seven hours of sleep needed. A study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered that participants who on average received 6 hours of sleep or less a night were two and a half times more likely to experience mental distress than those who slept more than 6 hours.

If you struggle to get adequate sleep, it may be time to focus on improving your sleep habits.

Below, you will find five tips to help build healthier sleep habits that have been gathered from the CDC, Mayo Clinic, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

5 Healthy Sleep Habits:

  1. Avoid frequent naps. While naps may make you feel rested at the moment, they can often make it difficult to fall asleep at night. If you plan to nap, it should be earlier in the day and no more than 20 minutes long.
  2. Avoid caffeine and nicotine late in the day. Both stimulate your nervous system, making it harder for your body to wind down and fall asleep.
  3. Get moving. Regular movement is proven to improve the quality of sleep, so find what type of movement gives you energy and make it a part of your daily routine.
  4. Create a comfortable space. Your bedroom should be quiet, dark, at a comfortable temperature, and without distractions. It should provide you with a sense of relaxation and tranquility.
  5. Set a routine. Your routine should include time to wind down, nightly hygiene tasks, a set time to go to sleep, and a set time to wake up the next day.

Sleep is unique to the individual, so it may take several attempts to determine what healthy sleep habits work best for you. Forming healthy habits is a process. Remember that you are building upon yourself by creating healthy sleep habits, both physically and mentally. 

Our Senior Life Solutions program is designed to meet the unique needs of individuals typically 65 and older experiencing depression and/or anxiety related to life changes that are often associated with aging. If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out for help. Anyone can make a referral.

If you would like more information, education, or would like to discuss support, please call the Saint Luke’s Senior Life Solutions program nearest you.

Allen County Regional Hospital - 620-365-1280

Anderson County Hospital - 785-204-8043

Wright Memorial Hospital - 660-357-4730