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Friday, 29 June 2018 08:16

The Science of "Hanger"

“Hangry” sounds like a silly made-up word — because it is — you hear in candy bar commercials to try to entice you to buy more. While it makes for a fun commercial, there is some real science behind it. Hanger, or a combination of hungry and angry, is a real problem. Let's take a closer look at the science of hanger and what's going on inside your body when it kicks in.

The Science of Hanger - Micrographic

How Hanger Happens

Ever heard your stomach growling when you're hungry? Hanger is the same reaction, just for your brain. Your brain needs fuel — specifically, glucose — to regulate your moods and your emotions. Your brain doesn't use any other fuel, so if your body's glucose levels are low, it doesn’t have any sort of backup fuel source.

When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into simple sugars and glucose. After eating, your blood glucose levels are higher, giving your brain the fuel it needs to function properly. It keeps you from experiencing extreme anger when you’re hungry and can help make you an overall better functioning person.

Low Blood Glucose Leads to Hanger

So now you're probably asking yourself, “Why do I get angry when I'm hungry?” Sure, we just explained your brain needs glucose to function, but how does that trigger hanger?

Hangry symptoms are a survival response. When you don't eat for a long time, your blood glucose levels drop, which sends a signal to the brain that it must be in danger. As a result, the rest of your body starts producing more epinephrine and cortisol — the same hormones that kick in during your body's fight-or-flight response. To your brain, a lack of glucose is just as scary as getting attacked by a bear or being in a high-speed car chase.

Essentially, if you're not eating enough, your body releases chemicals that force you to eat to improve your blood glucose levels. It's a bit dramatic, but it is an excellent survival tactic. From an evolutionary perspective, it makes perfect sense — not having enough food makes your body react, so you seek out more food. In today's world, it just takes picking up a snack or eating a proper meal to keep your blood sugar in check.

How to Prevent Hanger

You might be more susceptible to hanger if you have hypoglycemia — the scientific term for low blood sugar — but anyone can experience it if they don't eat enough of the proper foods. You need to try to eat more healthy fats, proteins and complex carbohydrates to give your body the glucose level it needs to survive and thrive.

It can be tempting to pick up a candy bar or a bag of chips, but sugary or junky snacks are the last thing you want to reach for when your blood sugar is low. Low blood sugar can make you feel angry, anxious or lethargic, but eating a sugary snack can make your blood sugar spike, which causes a whole new set of problems.

Managing your hanger doesn't have to be hard — all you need to do is to eat a balanced diet throughout the day to keep your blood sugar from spiking or dipping too quickly. By keeping your blood sugar stable, you keep your brain from going into survival mode and making you hangry. No one wants to be grumpy or angry because of their blood sugar, so make sure you keep up with your healthy snacks and meals throughout the day. Managing hanger doesn't have to be hard, but it does require that you eat right.

Published in Brookhaven Blog
Thursday, 28 June 2018 10:20

The Benefits of Taking a Vacation

Many Americans see their work ethic as a point of pride. However, an overzealous work ethic can be detrimental to our physical and mental health.

For many, vacations are seen as a luxury. And in fact, for many workers, vacation time is something they can't afford. The U.S. is one of the few developed nations in the world that does not mandate a set number of days off for employees. In fact, one-fourth of all American workers receive no paid time off. Some countries, like France and the United Kingdom, are afforded over 20 days off. This is because nations across the globe view vacations for what they are — a necessity for a well-balanced, healthy life.

Why Taking a Vacation Is Good for You

Even when businesses offer their employees paid vacation days, many employees neglect to take advantage of these. 54 percent of the workers in the U.S. with PTO do not even use the days they have. The main reason for this is that they feel they can't leave work or that things will fall apart if they are not there.

If you are one of those people, it's time to stop viewing vacations as an excess and start seeing them for what they are — non-negotiable. Here are five reasons why taking a vacation is good for your overall health:

  1. Improves Job Performance: Don't believe the old wives tale that taking time off for a vacation will hurt you at work. In fact, the opposite is true. Those who take time off find that it decreases their number of sick days and makes them more productive and more creative on the job. Some time off also allows workers to feel more satisfied with their job.
  2. Relieves Stress: The hustle and bustle of constant work with no breaks are not good for your mental health. Stress is the common side effect of an uninterrupted workflow. Chronic stress is a destructive force caused by the release of cortisol and epinephrine. These hormones are meant to be released in small doses as part of our "fight or flight" response, but in large quantity, they wreak havoc on our mental and physical health. Getting away for awhile gives your body a chance to recuperate.
  3. Prevents Illness and Heart Disease: One of the effects of stress is the damage it can cause to our immune system, making us more susceptible to illness. Stress can also lead to more serious conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), high blood pressure, cancer and even heart disease. Those who take regular vacations lower their risk of heart attacks by a huge margin. It also allows people to feel more vital and healthier.
  4. Resets Your Priorities: Those who work in a "dog eat dog" world, tend to forget that there is life outside the workplace. Work with no rest creates stress not only on their own health but also in their personal relationships. Vacations are a chance to reset and remind oneself that a career is not the end-all and be-all. In fact, regular family vacations forge closer familial bonds. Spouses report being happier in their married life, and both children and adults create memories that last a lifetime.
  5. Increases Feelings of Happiness: With stress running rampant throughout the American workplace, it is no wonder the number of people struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety has increased dramatically in recent years. Chronic exposure to stress is known to be a contributing factor to both of these mental health conditions. The effects of taking a vacation last long after those days are over. People who take regular vacations are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety and report feeling an overall satisfaction and happiness with their life.

Do not buy into the deception that time for vacations is a luxury you can't afford. For the sake of your mental and physical health, view these times away from work as a yearly priority for your whole family. Don't wait. Whether it is a cabin in the woods, visiting family or hitting the beach, start planning your vacation today.

Published in Brookhaven Blog
Wednesday, 27 June 2018 10:08

Summer Anxiety in College Students

Whether you are a freshman or a senior, a full load of classes and busy campus life can take their toll on anyone. That is why those carefree months of summer come at the perfect time. Some look forward to pure relaxation, while others have a productive summer of work, travel or other goals to fill their time.

But what no one expects is summer anxiety. Aren't those anxious feelings supposed to melt away once classes let out? Don't let the summer blues rob you of one day from your summer vacation.

Why Anxiety Hits College Students Over the Summer Months

Anxiety is a common occurrence among college students. All the pressure of meeting deadlines and getting good grades is enough to put anyone on edge. Even during the summer, though, feelings of anxiety or depression are common for college students. They are often referred to as the Summer Blues, and there are many reasons they hit so hard during these months of freedom:

  • Impossibly Long List of Summer To-Do's: From traveling to completing some lofty goals, it is easy to try and cram too much into your summer schedule.
  • Feeling Unmotivated: If you do have a long summer to-do list, then chances are you will not feel like doing it, and that can cause negative emotions to well up.
  • Busy Summer Job: Maybe you were hoping for a relaxing summer, but a job or internship is taking all your free time and making you feel rundown.
  • Change in Routine: After the end of a busy semester, it may take some time for your body to adjust to a slower pace, causing a little bit of stress.
  • Expectations Back at Home: Once you experience the adult freedom of college life, it may be hard to adjust to things back at home, such as schedules or expectations.
  • The Anticipation of Going Back to School: It is totally natural not to want to go back to school. We all relish our downtime, and you may feel stressed about the thought of returning to a busy class load.
  • Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder:  Reverse seasonal affective disorder (Reverse SAD), is a more uncommon disorder that individuals can develop during the warm summer months which can cause insomnia, manic behavior and decreased appetite.

Fighting the Summer Blues

Summer is a time for relaxation and recuperation after a busy fall and spring semester. But the anxiety associated with the summer blues can rob you of what little downtime you have. If you are looking to beat those blues, here are some tips that college students have used to fight summer anxiety:

  • Get Outside: Take a hike. Go to the beach. Have a morning jog. Visit a farmer's market. These are just a few examples of outdoor activities you can take advantage of this summer. Studies show that spending time outside or in nature increase feelings of serenity and happiness.
  • Family Time: You will be headed back to school before you know it, so why not take advantage of the little time you have with your nearest and dearest. Declare a family game night or have dinner at the dining table together at least once a week. These are precious moments you will not forget.
  • Pick One Thing to Do: Instead of filling your summer with an endless to-do list, try focusing on one thing. It could be a new hobby, like knitting or surfing, or traveling to a national landmark. Focusing on one item will free you up to enjoy that one thing to the fullest.
  • Relax and Breathe: You are allowed to relax. Don't let summer guilt set in and tell you that you are being lazy. The key to a good summer is enjoying those chances to unwind. Even if you're busy working, find times to relax and just breathe.

If your summer blues are rooted in a deeper issue, we are here for you. Brookhaven Retreat offers a refuge for women of all ages struggling with anxiety or depression. Reach out to us to learn more.

Published in Brookhaven Blog
Tuesday, 26 June 2018 14:30

How Heat Affects Your Mental Health

Summer is often associated with vacations, cookouts with friends and other fun activities. With summer also comes rising temperatures and many people take for granted the effects that high temperatures can have on our health.

We all know about the risk that high temperatures can have on our physical health — heat exhaustion, heat stroke and the like. You can take precautions to prevent this, such as not working outside during the hottest part of the day or increasing your water intake. But have you ever considered the effects heat has on your mental health?

Heat's Affect on Your Brain

Flaring tempers and cranky attitudes are a common side effect of a muggy summer day. Studies have shown that hot weather can lead to increased instances of aggression or even violence. But why? It may be that the uncomfortable sensations of being hot sets you on edge, but it could also be that your brain is having a difficult time managing the heat.

Our brain and body are effective at cooling us down when things get hot outside. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that regulates body temperature. When things start heating up, it signals the body to start sweating. This releases internal heat out into the environment. The brain also increases our body's blood flow to push out the heat. This is a dynamic combo aimed at cooling down the rest of our body until it reaches its optimal core temperature.

But what happens if your body cannot maintain that core temperature? Maybe it is too humid out. Or maybe your clothes are causing you to overheat. Whatever the reason, when hot temperatures strike, it can prevent nerve fibers in the brain from properly transmitting those cool down messages. This is when people are at risk for heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. Eventually, these extreme temperatures affect the brain and can injure other vital organs. That is why people with heat stroke often experience symptoms like:

  • Throbbing headaches
  • Mental confusion
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • And other physical symptoms

It is essential for anyone experiencing these symptoms to get medical attention right away. In the meantime, if you think you may have heat stroke or heat exhaustion, get cool and stay hydrated, especially by drinking fluids containing electrolytes.

Heat's Affect on Mental Health

Hot and humid weather does more than affect your physical health. It can also seriously impact your mental well-being. As temperatures get higher, studies find it is harder for people to experience positive emotions like joy and happiness. Some of the reasons why mood is influenced by hot weather could be because of it:

  • Exacerbates daily stressors
  • Increases risky behaviors
  • Causes sleeping difficulties
  • Increases risk of dehydration

When the weather is hot, it can also place some restrictions on daily life, as people stay cooped up indoors to escape the heat. This lack of control can cause increased irritation. It is also believed that those already struggling with mental health conditions or taking certain kinds of medication are more susceptible to heat-related mood problems on hot days.

Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder (Reverse SAD)

Although struggling with grouchiness is quite common as the heat rises, there is another way that the hot summer months can affect certain individuals known as reverse SAD. SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, is a mental health condition that causes some individuals to struggle with depression during the cold and dark winter months. Reverse SAD, or summer seasonal depression, does the opposite.

Reverse SAD is believed to be caused by longer days, increased sunlight and, of course, higher temperatures. Because of this, those with reverse SAD may experience insomnia, decreased appetite and even manic behavior. This condition is not fully understood because of its rarity. However, it's more common in the hotter Southern states.

Take care of yourself this summer. Be sure to get plenty of sleep and stay well hydrated, and seek professional help if you experience extreme or extended effects from the heat.

Published in Brookhaven Blog

Getting proper sleep is vital to maintaining your physical and mental health. Unfortunately, many people are waking up tired, even after getting eight hours of sleep. Some want to get eight hours of sleep every night, but they can't fall asleep or stay asleep. Why is getting a restful sleep so difficult for many of us?

The answer lies in the quality of our rest, not the quantity. A lot of sleep advice focuses on how long we sleep for, but we also need to consider how to sleep well.

What Makes You Feel Like You Got a Good Night’s Sleep?

When we think about the factors that go into a good night's sleep, we have to go back to the basics. The first step starts with our biology and the processes that sleep involves. To understand how to feel rested, you need to understand your sleep cycles.

What Are Sleep Cycles?

When we drift off, our brains and bodies keep working. In fact, we cycle through different types of brain waves, and our bodily processes subtly change throughout the night. Sleep doesn't happen in only one way — instead, it consists of five different stages. A complete sleep cycle has all five stages. So, when your body finishes the fifth stage, you complete a sleep cycle.

Sleep cycles have five stages

The Link Between Sleep Cycles and Feeling Well-Rested

During each stage of the sleep cycle, your body rests in different manners. Scientists do not entirely understand how each stage impacts your health and well-being, but they do know going without a particular stage can negatively affect your mind and body. Beneficial sleep consists of adequate amounts of each stage. So, when you wake up feeling groggy, you might not have gone through your sleep cycles properly, or perhaps you woke up in the middle of one.

Waking in the middle of sleep cycle

How Do Sleep Cycles Work?

When we don't get balanced and full sleep cycles during rest, we don't get the most out of our sleep. In the best-case scenario, this leaves you feeling a little drowsy when you get up. When you have significant problems with sleep cycles, you can have a difficult time waking up and functioning during the day. Sleep cycles are responsible for achieving the primary goals of sleep — rest and restoration. Not experiencing sleep cycles properly leaves you with lower-quality sleep, making you feel tired even after eight hours of rest.

While each sleep cycle you go through throughout the night has the same stages, they provide different kinds of rest. Health advice mentions rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep often. During REM sleep, your brain works the hardest out of all your time sleeping. As the name implies, our eyes move rapidly during this kind of sleep. Since our brains have so much activity during this period, we experience the most dreams when undergoing REM sleep. Experts have observed a connection between REM sleep and memory, mood and thinking. To keep our minds in top shape, we need the right amount of REM sleep.

REM sleep is good for our brains

You may have already heard of REM sleep, but do you know about non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep? REM sleep is vital to getting proper rest, but we can't underestimate the power of NREM sleep, which happens during the rest of the sleep cycle. During NREM sleep, your brain and body slow down instead of speeding up, and your sleep gets gradually deeper. We spend most of our time sleeping in NREM sleep with shorter periods of REM sleep. NREM sleep involves slow-wave sleep, which affects learning, the nervous system and physical recovery.

Sleep Cycles and REM/NREM Sleep

We experience about four to six 90-minute sleep cycles throughout the night. Each sleep cycle looks a little different from the others, having a different proportion of REM sleep. Our first two to three sleep cycles mainly consist of NREM sleep, while the last two to three involve more REM sleep. How long you sleep also affects the amounts of each sleep type you get during your sleep cycles. During the earlier parts of the night, we tend to have more NREM sleep. Meanwhile, we spend more time with REM sleep late at night and in the very early morning.

Every sleep cycle follows a similar five-step progression. You start with four stages in which light sleep gets deeper. Once you reach the deepest level of sleep, you transition back to light sleep, which becomes the fifth stage, REM sleep. Then, the sleep cycle starts over, beginning again with light sleep.

What Are the Five Different Stages of Sleep?

Depending on whom you ask, sleep cycles can have four or five stages. Sleep experts use a four-stage framework, while some people separate the slow-wave sleep stage before REM sleep into two stages. No matter how you categorize sleep stages, they still progress the same way. We will use the original five-stage names first, with the new names in parentheses.

Stage 1 (N1): The Transition Period

When you feel yourself drift off, you're starting the first stage of the sleep cycle. During this stage, your body makes the switch from awake to asleep. Your brain waves and muscle movements slow down. You might have sudden muscle jerks that accompany the feeling of falling, also known as a myoclonic jerk. If you have ever fallen asleep only to get startled by the sensation of falling, you were in the first sleep stage.

When undergoing stage 1 sleep, you can wake up very easily. You feel very drowsy and drift in and out of sleep, perhaps nodding off or getting weary-eyed. Stage 1 sleep doesn't give you deep rest, but it can relieve some fatigue if you take a short nap. This stage of sleep lasts around five to 10 minutes.

Stage 2 (N2): Slowing Down

At the second sleep stage, your mind and body begin to slow down to prepare for slow-wave sleep. Your eye movements completely stop at this point in the cycle. Additionally, your body temperature starts to decrease, and your heart rate becomes slower. Occasionally, your brain will create sudden bursts of rapid waves, and your muscles will tighten. These moments are often called sleep spindles.

Since stage 2 sleep is still light sleep, you can wake up without feeling too groggy. You haven't transitioned to sleep deep enough to give you dreams, but your brain will create them soon. Stage 2 sleep happens for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

Stage 3 (N3): The Start of Deep Sleep

When you reach the third stage of sleep, your brain slows down even further, and your body begins to repair itself. Tissue regrows, bone and muscle rebuild and your body sheds dead cells. This deep sleep also maintains your immune system. Your brain produces slow delta waves with occasional smaller and faster waves, beginning the slow-wave sleep part of the sleep cycle. Even though your body starts doing serious work, you still breathe slower and have a lower heart rate.

Once you enter stage 3, it becomes much harder to wake up quickly. Sleep experts often group this stage with stage 4 and refer to it as N3. The N3 stage can take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes.

Stage 4 (N3): Even Deeper Sleep

Stage 4 has many traits in common with stage 3, causing many scientists to group them together. In the fourth stage, your brain makes even more delta waves than in stage 3 and fewer fast waves. Think of stage 4 as a more intense version of stage 3, where you sleep more deeply. When you need more sleep than usual, your slow-wave stages last longer than they usually do.

REM Sleep: When Dreams Happen and Your Brain Repairs Itself

After about 85 minutes of the four NREM stages, you enter REM sleep, which offers different and significant benefits. Your brain becomes active again — so active, in fact, you might experience dreams. While your brain goes into overdrive, your body doesn't move at all. REM sleep acts as a "cleaner" for your brain, clearing out unwanted cells. If you become deprived of REM sleep, your mind and body will try to enter REM sleep more often and stay in the REM stage longer.

How Do Sleep Stages Impact How I Wake Up?

As you can see, some sleep stages are easier to wake up from than others. If something interrupts your sleep in the middle of the third or fourth stage, you won't only feel groggy, but you'll miss out on the REM benefits from that cycle. Meanwhile, waking up at the end of a sleep cycle or during the first two stages lets you feel more rested. That's why shorter naps can make you feel more energized than longer ones. At the same time, you need prolonged amounts of sleep at night to get the rest each stage provides, so you can't rely on naps alone.

In some cases, your sleep cycle might get interrupted in the middle of the night, denying you access to restful REM sleep. You might sleep eight hours, but not all at once. To feel refreshed in the morning, you need continuous sleep.

Need continuous sleep to feel refreshed

What Time Should You Go to Sleep?

We do not have a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Everyone has unique schedules, lifestyles and responsibilities. A third shift worker will have to go to bed at a different time than someone who works nine to five. If you understand how your sleep cycles work, however, you can adjust your bedtime to fit any wake-up time.

How to determine when to go to bed

As we mentioned earlier, a typical sleep cycle lasts around 90 minutes. When you wake up at the beginning or end of a sleep cycle, you don't experience the drowsiness that comes with waking up from slow-wave sleep. So, you can decide on your bedtime by counting backward from your wake-up time in 90-minute increments. Tools like online sleep calculators can help you do the math.

When you create a sleep schedule, keep in mind your rest might not involve exact 90-minute sleep cycles. It takes an average of 90 to 110 minutes for a sleep cycle to go through all the stages. If you try the 90-minute approach and still don't feel rested, add or subtract a few minutes from your alarm time. You should also consider how long it takes you to fall asleep and add that to your total time.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Even though you can wake up feeling refreshed just from one sleep cycle, you still need to get a full night's rest every night. Everyone should plan a sleep schedule that lasts for four to five sleep cycles. If you have a 90-minute sleep cycle, that means you should sleep for six hours or seven and a half hours. You may have to adjust your plan if you don't think your sleep cycles last for 90 minutes. Experimentation can help you figure out your body's natural rhythm.

Of course, the amount of sleep you need also depends on your age and other individual factors. As we age, the amount of time we spend in each sleep stage changes, as well as the total time we should rest at night. Children and teenagers gradually need less sleep as they age, going from as high as 20 hours as an infant to only nine as an adolescent. The standard recommended amount of sleep for adults is seven to eight hours, but some people need as much as nine or as little as six.

Adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep

Your physical and mental activity during the day can require you to get more sleep to feel fully rested. Genetics can play a role in the best amount of sleep for you, too. If you adjust your amount of sleep to no avail, you may want to get tested for a sleeping disorder like sleep apnea. Sleep disorders can interrupt your sleep cycles, making it difficult to manage them no matter how hard you try. You could also have a condition that causes you to feel tired during the day, making it seem like you don't get quality sleep.

Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Once you have a good understanding of your sleep cycles and how they impact your energy levels, you can figure out what interrupts or delays them. Having difficulty falling asleep in the first place makes it tricky to plan your sleep schedule. Waking up in the middle of the night forces your body to start sleep cycles all over again, preventing you from taking advantage of that sleep cycle's REM phase. Many factors can get in the way of proper rest, but we can help. The following healthy sleep tips can help you improve the quality of your rest.

1. Follow a Sleep Schedule

After you create the sleep plan we mentioned in the last few sections, you should follow it as closely as possible. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even when you have the day off. If you have an unpredictable schedule, try to sleep during a time when you usually don't have to work. A consistent sleep schedule trains your body's internal clock to signal sleepiness at the time you want to fall asleep. Going to bed at the same time every day also helps you stay asleep, letting you avoid any interruptions during your sleep cycles.

Go to bed at the same time every day

2. Eat a Sleep-Friendly Diet

If you eat certain foods close to bedtime, they can interfere with both your sleep quality and quantity. Caffeine is a big offender. Coffee drinkers don't have to deny themselves their cup of joe in the morning, but avoiding caffeine about eight hours before bed can stop it from keeping you awake. Spicy and greasy food that causes uncomfortable indigestion can keep you up if you eat them within a few hours of bedtime. If you get hungry before bed, feel free to eat a light snack about 45 minutes before you try to fall asleep. You don't want your hunger to keep you up, either!

3. Form Relaxing Bedtime Habits

About an hour before bed, you should only do activities that help you wind down. Stay away from anything that makes you feel excited, stressed or anxious. Bright screens can make sleeping harder, too, so avoid electronics if possible. You can at least use a screen filter program on a computer or phone to reduce the impact of the blue light they give off. If you think of something that makes you worried, or a problem you need to solve, write it down and save it for when you're awake. Popular relaxing activities to do before bed include reading, journaling and listening to soothing music.

4. Create an Association Between Your Bed and Sleep

You can train your subconscious to make a stronger connection between sleep and your bed. Even doing calming activities like reading in bed can keep you awake. If you work, study or even just watch movies in bed during the day, move those actions somewhere else. During your bedtime routine, you can do your favorite relaxing activity in a comfy chair or couch to help you calm down. If you can't fall asleep or wake up in the middle of the night for an extended period, get out of bed and do something calming until you feel tired again.

5. Nap Carefully

Naps can be your biggest friend or foe in the fight against sleeplessness. The difference lies in sleep cycle management and paying attention to your energy levels. Shorter naps during the day can boost your energy and make you more productive as long as you keep them shorter than 30 minutes or aim for about 90 minutes. In other words, plan your nap around your sleep cycles for the best result. However, if you have trouble getting to sleep, you can try getting rid of naps entirely or taking them earlier in the day. Napping too close to bedtime can throw off your internal clock.

Short naps can boost your energy

6. Eliminate Distractions in Your Bedroom

Even if you use earplugs and a sleep mask, you could still have a distracting sleep experience. Many factors you wouldn't think of could interrupt your sleep. For example, if you sleep with a partner, you could each have a separate blanket so you can have the least distracting coverage. Even though we love our furry friends, pets can interrupt your sleep if they cuddle with you in bed or come into your room to play. An uncomfortable environment counts as a distracting environment, too. A fix as simple as wearing socks on your cold feet can mean the difference between sleep and restlessness.

7. Exercise Regularly

If you have the time, resources and ability, getting some physical activity on a regular basis can help you manage your energy levels. Remember, exercise doesn't necessarily mean running on a treadmill or doing intense cardio. Even light exercise for a few minutes every day can improve sleep. Do what works for you. You can find free workout videos and instructions on the Internet, dance to your favorite song or do light weightlifting without leaving the house. Think of what inspires you and use that to find the right exercise activity.

Regular physical activity can help regulate energy levels

Address Any Health Issues That Interfere With Sleep

When all else fails, you might need professional help to get the most out of your sleep. Sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea can make good rest hard unless you see a doctor who can treat the underlying cause of your condition and help you to get a well-rested sleep. Mental health issues like anxiety and depression can also interfere with sleep when untreated. Even physical conditions like chronic pain can keep you awake.

Whether or not you already have a diagnosis, health professionals are here to lend a hand and advise you on how to wake up refreshed and energized.

Professional help for getting sleep

Published in Brookhaven Blog