Don’t Skimp On Sleep—It Matters More Than You Think

By Carol Wilson ~

Many of us lead a busy life.  Some of us cut back on sleep so we can get more done.  When it comes to mental health, however, getting enough sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.  Skipping even a few hours of sleep now and then can take a toll on our mood, energy, mental sharpness, ability to handle stress and our ability to “bounce back.”  Over the long-term, chronic sleep loss can wreak havoc on our health – mental and physical.

Adults should aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night.  We cannot expect sleep to come the moment we lay down and close our eyes, however, our brain needs time to unwind at the end of the day. That means taking a break from the stimulation of screens—TV, phone, tablet, computer—in the two hours before bedtime, putting aside work, and avoiding arguments, worrying.  Save brainstorming until the next day.

De-stress yourself.  Think of positive things in your life that have contributed to a feeling of peace, bliss, comfort, joy.  Magic moments.  Good friends.  Blessed events.  Your favorite memories.  Look through old or new pictures of things that bring comfort.  Soft music.  Practice gratitude.  Give thanks.  Each day is a new beginning.  You already are what you want to become.