South Denver Psychotherapy: Peace of Mind Means Peaceful Sleep.

A huge piece of mental health is proper sleep each night—sometimes people don’t realize just how much their lack of sleep is impacting how they feel each and every day. It is actually possible to feel depressed or anxious when one has not had proper sleep, and especially over the long term.

If you are stressed out and your mind is going, sleep can be quite elusive. When one’s mind and heart are preoccupied, sleep can become out of reach for some, and then the problem can turn into a vicious cycle—no sleep means poor mental health, and poor mental health means not enough, not restorative sleep.

Here is a short list of small ways that can make a big difference for your ability to calm and relax your nervous system, mind and body that may lead to improved sleep and better mental health:

1. Movement.

Some form of movement or exercise each day (with an occasional day off when total rest is needed). This does not require going to the gym for a major workout, or doing a huge hike or bike ride—even going for a walk in the morning, afternoon, or before bed will make a difference for moving your energy, letting your mind process the events of the day and calming down your nervous system.

2. Going Horizontal

Try finding 15-20 minutes each afternoon between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to lay down, “go horizontal,” close your eyes, and just let your whole nervous system shut down. Let your mind and body exist in total silence and without interruption or distraction. This is “Adrenal Recovery Time” and is the optimal time of day to rest, and will give you maximum return on your energy—you will find that after this lay down, you are rejuvenated to continue what you have to do that day, when only just before laying down, you found yourself fatigued with brain fog, not sure if you could “push through.” Listen to your body and notice when it is in need of a break—it will pay off in the long run. If you can only get 5 minutes in, then do that—whatever you can do will help.

3. Meditate.

Meditate at least once a day for anywhere from 5-20 minutes. If you only have time for five minutes, that is fine—you might be amazed at what a big difference five minutes can make. Some have found that meditating first thing in the morning is especially helpful so you can start your day from a place of being more centered, and also right before bed is a good way to calm the mind down before sleep. Experiment and see what works for you. You may struggle at first to integrate this new activity into your routine, but over time you may find yourself lengthening the time of your sit, and missing it if you don’t sit that day.

4. Therapy 

All of these things will no doubt be helpful to calming down your mind and body. And at times, you may find that it is not enough—it may be that talk-therapy is in order—there are some things that are too challenging to process on our own. And the things that weigh us down during the day are often what are keeping us up at night, and preventing us from getting a good night’s sleep.

Call South Denver Psychotherapy today to set up an appointment—you may find that this type of emotional support may be just the thing you need to help you get a better night’s sleep.