A Key Ingredient
Sleep is one of the most important factors in your health. Improving your sleep can decrease symptoms of depression or anxiety, increase productivity during the day, enhance immune functioning, and even improve your social relationships. The science behind sleep has been studied for many years, and while the details are sometimes disputed, the overall agreement is that quality sleep is crucial for physical and mental health.
There are three main factors to assess when examining quality of sleep: time it takes to fall asleep, frequency of waking up in the night, and amount of fatigue shortly after waking up. These factors give a picture of your sleep profile. In order to treat sleep, each of these must be addressed.
Train Your Brain
Problems with sleep can be seen in the brain as a variety of different brainwave patterns. Neurofeedback allows a trained professional to help you regulate your brainwaves so that your can fall asleep more easily and achieve a more restful sleep. This is often accomplished by increasing relaxation waves or decreasing hyperactive waves that lead to racing thoughts.
Learning how to slow your mind, accept your struggle with sleep, and relax your body can help you overcome sleep issues. Many people lay down in hopes that relaxing their body will automatically signal their mind to relax. Unfortunately, sometime the mind and body need to learn this skill, and Mindfulness can help.
In addition to a fast-faced mind, some people struggle with excess physical energy when they are trying to sleep. Yoga can help your body find a calm state. Whether you need to work the body and sweat, or practice slow and gentle movements, yoga can prepare you for a restful night.
The behaviors that we engage in before sleep impact the quality of our sleep. Watching television, playing a game on your tablet, arguing with a friend or family member, or even being around bright lights all contribute to how well you fall asleep and stay asleep. Learning proper sleep hygiene in Psychotherapy can teach you what behaviors to avoid or adopt for an optimal nights rest.