The importance of a good nights sleep

As National Bed Month is now well underway I thought it might be relevant to talk about the importance of a good night’s rest.

Over the past few months, I have been doing what I can to improve the quality of my sleep. For individuals with neurodiverse conditions such as Dyspraxia, Autism, Dyslexia and ADHD- sleep is even more important. If we lack sleep,  there is a good chance we will experience more issues with the mental health aspects of these conditions and this can have a much wider impact.

The way in which I’ve chosen to try and have a better night’s sleep is by playing a white noise album on Spotify, 3 hours long and I have to say I have experienced the benefits of this. I feel that I am falling asleep more quickly each night and therefore having a better quality rest. This in turn enhances my ability to have a good day. For me this means feeling more comfortable to engage more in social situations with my peers for example.

Certain aspects of the sleep process I still find a challenge. Many young people find this relatable in that “the process of actually getting to sleep is tiring and boring within itself.” One thing about the neurodiverse mind, is that it is mostly, if not always, on the go. There is never really an optimum time when the mind feels ready to switch off and just lie down and enjoy rest.. Like many people, I could be guilty of lying scrolling through social media until I feel bored of it and am getting nothing more from it. These days the blue light filters help and remove the damaging effects our devices can have on that journey to getting a good night’s rest. But even with that I have made efforts to lessen my time online before I go to bed. Even if it is by 5 minutes. Every little helps with a busy and active mind!

A sleep diary can be another helpful thing in achieving a better night’s sleep. To be honest, I actually think that if you have nothing to write about in a sleep diary- surely you’d be better for it? However a sleep diary could be the place to write down possible solutions to any problem and share these with those closest to you.

I’m also pleased that in my bedroom I’ve achieved an environment which is not overly stimulating. When I go into my room I feel calm and if such a thing exists as a “sleep ambience”, I feel this is very much a place where this exists. I have an Aloe Vera plant on the windowsill to help purify the air and leave me breathing easy.  Having a plant to look after that has great health benefits such as the Aloe Vera also helps me to focus and reduces anxiety, which in itself can also promotes a good sleep.

There are many things we can all do to enhance our sleep. Better sleep means a better chance of being in a good mood. Sleep is what I call that “controlled variable”. We probably have a bit more control over it than we truly believe. External factors come and go and have the impact they’ll have. But let’s all give ourselves the best chance to replenish our energy levels and feel fresh and ready for each day!

Sleep well!

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