Let’s talk about sleep

Erin Barr

Clinical Coordinator of UpStreet

Sleep. It’s important to get enough. You’ve heard that. Maybe you even believe that. You should believe it. It’s true. Why is getting enough 😴 important?

You’ll be in a better mood
You’ll be be more productive and focused
Your mental health will get a boost
Your immune system will be stronger

Maybe you already knew why sleep is so important but you have a hard time getting enough sleep. Here are some things you can do that might help you.

Breathe
Obviously you’re probably breathing right now. But actually paying attention to your breath can help calm your mind, relax your body and prepare you for sleep. You can try the 5-5-8-2 technique. Get comfy in your bed and just start to notice your breath. Slowly inhale for a count of 5. Then, hold your breath for a count of 5, counting at the same pace. Next, slowly exhale for a count of 8. Finally hold your breath for a count of 2 before inhaling. In for 5, hold for 5, out for 8, hold for 2. Your mind will probably wander and you’ll start thinking about something else. That’s totally fine and totally normal. 👌 Just come back to the counting when you notice you’ve wandered off. You can also watch JFCS Art Therapist, Angelica, explain the Ocean Breath technique here.

Get into a routine
Giving yourself time to wind-down mentally before going to bed can help with a good night’s sleep. Consistently doing the same things each night will signal to your body that it’s time to 💤💤. These things can include taking a warm shower or bath, listening to a sleep playlist (either one you created or a curated list on any music app), stretching or doing some yoga poses, listening to a guided meditation or doing one of the breathing exercises above. It also helps to go to bed around the same time every night and wake up around the same time the next day. ⏰ Many experts agree 9 is the magic number when it comes to how many hours of sleep to get.

Unplug
Yes, phones are a main source of connection for all people but especially young people right now. No, being on your phone right before bed is not really helpful in getting a good night’s sleep. 🙊 There is no denying how hard it can be to put your phone down and not check it for the rest of the night. You could always leave it somewhere other than your room. Like in the kitchen. Maybe your parents would be willing to do the same in a show of solidarity? It’s not good for them to be on their phones right before bed either, BTW. 👀

These are just a few of many things that may help you sleep better. If you’ve tried some of these and you’re still finding that you aren’t able to get as much sleep as you’d like, reach out to us on our chatbot. We can talk more about your particular situation and see what other options might be more helpful for you.

 

If you would like to chat with us, we are available from 9:00am – 8:00pm Monday – Thursday and 9:00am – 4:00pm on Friday.