Work on improving the quality of your sleep with these strategies from Dr Bek…
The importance of quality sleep has been touted regularly as part of the elixir of a contented and healthy lifestyle. The core elements impacting sleep quality include physical health, physical activity, levels of stress/cortisol arousal, and social connectedness. It’s likely that each of these areas has been impacted during the recent pandemic.
Disruption to our sleep routines upsets our body clock and vice versa. Sleep problems are associated with feelings of anxiety and low mood along with multiple physical health impairments.
Dealing with your sleep disturbance is as important as managing any physical health concerns you may experience. Before seeking further medical or psychological intervention, here are a few strategies you can put in place to improve your sleep quality:
Chronic illness or disease, significant mental health concerns, periods of heightened trauma and significant life events can also impair usual sleep patterns (for example, see here for strategies for managing sleep with chronic pain conditions).
Disruption during these times is anticipated, but often unhelpful to overall recovery and restoration. Likewise, prolonged periods of disturbed sleep have adverse effects on our general health and wellbeing.
Still Can’t Sleep?
If you have tried the suggestions here and you are still concerned about a troublesome sleep pattern, seek professional support sooner rather than later. Sleep deprivation impacts us psychologically and physiologically by shifting our circadian rhythm and impacting our emotional wellbeing.
Sometimes our sleep-wake routine is so disrupted that we think we suffer from insomnia. Medication is often the first choice treatment but in fact science indicates cognitive behaviour therapy is the more effective approach. Sleep specialists, including psychologists who focus on sleep management, offer accessible and science-based strategies for diagnosing and treating sleep problems.