Sleeping and Emotional Health

Sleep deprivation has emotional consequences.  People become more irritable and are also more likely to suffer depression, have a negative attitude and it impacts the way brains function so one becomes more controlled by emotion and less by reason.  There are many helpful tips to increase the quality of sleep.  Getting enough sunlight helps as does exercise as simple as walking for twenty or thirty minutes each day. 

Adults should get between seven and eight hours of sleep.  When this doesn’t happen the lack of sleep can be made up on the weekend or with an afternoon map.  That is recommended.  Those that celebrate the weekly Sabbath might use some hours during the day of rest to catch up on some lost sleep during the week.  If not, the lack of sleep will accumulate over time like a financial debt and cause emotional and other health issues. 

Suffering from occasional insomnia is common especially in adults over forty years old.  Those that have racing thoughts as they are trying to go to sleep may find it helpful to write down all their worries and concerns in a journal before going to bed.  That helps make them more fixed and less likely to take free rein in the mind.  Then they can read a book until they are so tired they must go to sleep.  If the thoughts just will not stop racing, they can try to control the thoughts be telling themselves something about their physical condition and repeating it over and over until they fall asleep.  For example, one might repeat the thought “my head is on my pillow” over and over.  One should not try to make up sleep for insomnia by sleeping in or taking a nap.  Just let the body self-correct.  After the accumulation of so many lost hours, the body will often tire and fall asleep at the regular bedtime again.  Doing aerobic activity two hours before going to bed has helped some fall to sleep faster.

The power nap can be helpful in reducing stress.  Those that get an hour break for lunch may want to consider spending the last fifteen minutes taking a nap.  Good sleep has a strong connection to emotional health.  The old adage says early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.  

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