It’s clear anxiety and depression are prevalent global issues. The report, Re-awakening Australia – The Economic Cost of Sleep Disorders in Australia, highlights more than 1.5 million Australian adults, 9% of the adult population, now suffer from sleep disorders.
With RUOK? Day falling smack bang in the middle of September, we’ve chosen to focus our energy this month towards providing tools and tricks for taking control of night-time anxiety and depression.
In order to help kick night-time anxiety, our first tip is to…
create a pre-sleep ritual
This helps establish an association in your brain between certain activities and sleep. (The goal is to create a clear separation between your busy, activity-filled day, and a calm peaceful evening.)
The ideal time to start priming your mind and body for sleep is 30 minutes to 1 hour before bed.
The ultimate pre-sleep ritual will vary for each person, but yours should include activities that you can easily repeat each night. This will start to shape together a routine that your mind recognises as cues to slow down.
Here are some things you might like to try as part of your pre-sleep ritual:
- a hot shower
- a soothing bath (with lavender)
- a cup of herbal tea
- essential oils in the diffuser
- reading a good book
- a calming sequence of yoga poses
- a guided meditation
Whatever it is that works for you, the key is to consciously create a consistent pre-sleep ritual that suggests to your mind each night that it’s time to let go of the passing day and prepare for restful sleep.