A-Z Index

Bettering Your Sleep

40% of people with insomnia may have a diagnosable mental-health condition.

Over half of respondents to a survey say stress and anxiety were the top reasons they have trouble falling asleep.

48% of U.S. workers say they are regularly tired during the day.

$45 billion is lost in productivity each year from the U.S. economy due to lack of sleep or poor sleep resulting in unplanned absences.

3 hours and 30 minutes is how long adults in the U.S. spend on social media before bed every night, according to a OneCare Media survey for

Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Good sleep habits, often referred to as "sleep hygiene," will help you get a good night's sleep. The following are ways to improve your sleep hygiene:

  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations.
  • Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep.
  • Don't go to bed unless you are sleepy.
  • If you don’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed. Go do a quiet activity without a lot of light exposure. It is especially important to not get on electronics.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Use your bed only for sleep. Avoid watching TV, using your smartphone or reading in bed.
  • Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.
  • Limit exposure to bright light in the evenings.
  • Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime. If you are hungry at night, eat a light, healthy snack.
  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.
  • Avoid consuming caffeine in the afternoon or evening.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol before bedtime.
  • Reduce your fluid intake before bedtime.

Benefits of High-quality sleep

High-quality sleep can have a positive effect on your health in countless ways, including:

  • Decreased risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Stabilized hormones, including those in charge of blood glucose regulation, thus decreasing your risk for diabetes
  • Boosted immunity, leading to fewer colds and improved skin
  • Most applicable this month, lowered stress (lowered cortisol levels) and improved mood (decreased anxiety and depression)

High-Quality Sleep and Mental Health

Mechanism by which seven to nine hours of high-quality sleep affects mental health:

  • When the body experiences a sleep deficit, it reacts as though it is under more stress, starting a positive feedback loop that increases your stress level.
    • Too much cortisol leads to the body staying in a sympathetic (fight or flight) state, increases heart rate, blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
  • Getting more rest can significantly decrease cortisol levels and restore balance to the body’s systems. In a preventative step, try to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night to avoid the rise in hormone altogether and reduce existing feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Research has found that losing too much sleep can activate a region of the brain that controls emotional processing and worry. While those with an anxiety disorder are much more likely to feel the mental effects of a lack of sleep, it still affects everyone.

Sleep Takeaways

  • An insufficient amount of sleep can overwork the heart, cause more stress, negatively affecting your mental health.
  • Adequate sleep however, has been proven to drastically reduce feelings of anxiety by improving your ability to process stress and react in an appropriate way.
  • A good night’s sleep will boost your mood, outlook and temperament.
  • Sleep is so important; we will be taking a more in-depth look at it in the months to come.