Lately, I’ve been struggling with poor quality sleep. Sleep has a huge impact on my mood and the insomnia has contributed to increased suicidal ideation and depression. Ironically, the reason why my sleep quality has decreased is due to the new medication I am taking for depression (when I’m through this, I will talk about this more. Right now, it’s too raw of a subject).
I’ve always been a sleep nerd. At MIT, I never understood classmates who pulled all-nighters before exams because of the negative impact on your mental performance. Even with sleep being ingrained as an important aspect of my life, I’ve made a few changes recently to boost the quality of sleep I get.
Here are my top 5 sleep tips:
- Make sure your room is dark. Phones, alarm clocks, ineffective window coverage, etc. all produce light. Even small amounts disturb sleep. Use blackout curtains and do your best to keep your room dark. Alternatively, you can wear an eye mask.
- Reduce blue light exposure at night. Recently, I purchased blue light blocking glasses for $20 on Amazon. I start wearing them 3 hours before bed. Reducing blue light exposure claims to increase melatonin release and improve sleep quality.
- Wear earplugs. I’ve worn earplugs since MIT to reduce sound during my sleep. They are effective for me and, bonus, if you work at a plan, you can get them for free!
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule. A lot of people vary their sleep schedule from weekdays to the weekend. This makes it hard to fall asleep on Sunday night. I try to be as consistent as I can to keep my internal clock on point.
- Use a pre-sleep routine. Sometimes it can be hard to get settled after a long day at work or if things popped up at home. Get in the habit of a pre-sleep routine to signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep. Recently, I’ve been using sleep hypnosis tracks (free on iTunes) or I’ve been meditating.
I hope you increase the quality of your sleep!