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Sleep

This page provides information about sleep hygiene advice.

Why is sleep important to our Mental Health?

Sleep ‘recharges’ the brain at the end of each day, just like we need to charge a mobile phone battery after prolonged use. Maintaining a regular sleep-wake cycle allows the natural rhythm of the body to be reset every day and therefore optimises brain functioning which helps to keep our emotions in check.

Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Children and teenagers require more sleep than adults - usually about 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Sleep is important to children and young people's social, emotional, and behavioural development. 

How does lack of sleep affect our mental health?

Lack of sleep can also affect your mood and thinking patterns. During sleep we process information and consolidate memories. Research has shown a lack of sleep can lead to:

  • more negative than positive memories.
  • more negative thinking
  • Poor judgement and concerntration
  • Irritability and tiredness.
  • Mania, psychosis or paranoia
  • Elevated blood pressure and stress hormones which increases your risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Click the drop down boxes below for further information and advice.

Tips to improve your sleep
  1. Have a regular sleep-wake cycle 
  2. Improve your bed and bedroom to make it a more comfortable and relaxing place - soft lighting and right temperature 
  3. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol near bed time.
  4. Avoid drinking too much to minimise chances of waking to go to the toilet.
  5. Avoid going to bed until you are drowsy and actually ready to sleep - Most people who suffer from insomnia spend more time in bed lying awake rather than actually asleep.
  6. Get enough daily exercise 
  7. Avoid using tablets just before bedtime - the stimulating light from screen devices can make it hard for your brain to switch to sleep mode.
  8. Avoid naps in the day as this can disrupt your sleep routine.

If you are struggling to sleep because you are feeling anxious or stressed, you should seek support to manage your anxiety or stress. Contact the Wellbeing Service who offer can offer useful workshops and advice.

Useful resources:

Every Mind Matters NHS website - sleeping tips

 

How can I help my child to get a good nights sleep

Helpful YouTube videos:

How to help your child get a good night sleep 

Sleep, a bedtime story 

How to get children’s bedtimes back on track

Self-help resources:

Healthy Sleep tips for children

Night Terrors

The Sleep Charity website

Headspace App 

What if I need more support?

If you require further support a referral to Wellbeing Service 
The Wellbeing Service (also known as Wellbeing Suffolk) provides Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. There is comprehensive evidence to suggest Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is effective in improving sleep. A comprehensive CBT approach for insomnia includes:

•            Paying attention to thoughts and behaviours that hinder sleeping

•            Paying attention to sleep patterns

•            Learning relaxation skills

•            Creating a healthy sleep hygiene regime

•            Learning to challenge the unhelpful thoughts that hinder sleeping

If you would like to explore other support available it might be helpful to speak to your GP.

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