If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or an addiction, you know better than anyone that these diseases and disorders have the ability to dramatically change your normal sleeping patterns. They can either drain your energy and make you sleep more or cause you to have insomnia-like behaviors and struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep.
As much as you want to just get a simple good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and ready for a new day, it doesn’t happen. And you likely recognize the impacts of this imbalanced sleep in your daily routine, feeling abnormally exhausted, unable to focus, or just not as mentally sharp as you know you can be. This cycle can make your anxiety or depression worse because things seem to be spinning out of control, or perhaps this dysfunction drives you to your coping mechanism or addiction of choice to “regain” what you feel is slipping away.
Strengthening the Mind-Body Connection
By this point in your journey, you have likely noticed the connection between what is going on in your brain and your body’s reactions. This mind-body connection often seems one-way, and since your mind seems to function on its own, you may think that you can’t make the connection go the other way. However, as you may have noticed when you are doing a physical activity or hobby that you become calmer and more relaxed, which shows that your body is capable of influencing the functioning of your mind in certain contexts.
Now, you have a life and responsibilities, so you can’t just sit around in a workshop all day and build shelves or play soccer, but you can commit to doing everything in your power to make sure you get plenty of good-quality sleep at night.
Practical Things You Can Do to Improve Sleep
Certainly you try to sleep well, but either your mind is racing with anxious thoughts or you are overwhelmed with your personal and professional responsibilities or you are feeding your addictive behaviors during the night. Hopefully you will find that carving out a consistent 6-8 hours every night for sleep gives you back some of the control you may feel like you have lost in other areas of your life, and this simple but powerful commitment can provide you with stability and a calmer mind.
Here are a few tips for getting high-quality sleep:
Give these tips a try for a few nights and see if getting more adequate sleep helps calm your anxiety, depression, or addiction. And don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend or your partner to ask for some accountability or assistance in keeping your routine. There is hope for you and you are not alone.