March 3-10 is National Sleep Awareness Week, an annual awareness week created by to promote healthy sleep habits. The week is coordinated to end with the beginning of daylight saving time on March 10, a day notorious for upsetting sleep schedules.
Proper sleep is critical to physical and mental health, yet 75 percent of Americans experience symptoms of a sleep problem at least several times per week. Treating sleep disorders is of vital importance as it helps alleviate symptoms of mental health issues. Studies show that when sleep issues are addressed, patients with mental illnesses respond better to treatment.
The CDC recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. This can be particularly difficult for women with mental health issues, but good sleep hygiene can positively affect recovery.
A sleep plan can make a significant impact in helping women establish a routine of proper sleep. Brookhaven Retreat encourages women to adopt healthy lifestyle habits that encourage good sleep hygiene. Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine before bedtime, not exercising at night, not consuming large meals late in the evening and creating a relaxing sleep environment free from electronics or distractions all help the body settle in to its sleep cycle. Perhaps most importantly a pre-sleep ritual such as bathing, reading or journaling helps communicate to the body that its time to sleep.
Once a sleep routine is established, the body begins to adopt a natural rhythm. When women are alert and well rested, both risk and symptoms of anxiety and depression are reduced, and the path to recovery becomes easier. Brookhaven Retreat helps women overcome mental health issues and emotional breakage one healthy habit at a time, and Sleep Awareness Week’s focus, proper sleep hygiene, is one critical step toward a life of health and wellness.