Mental Health Awareness Week
18 – 24th May 2020 #UKMoneyBloggers #MHAW2020
Sleep was chosen as the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 because millions of people report problems with sleeping. A lack of sleep really can have a detrimental effect on your overall mental health. You only have to see #insomnia trending in the wee hours of the morning, to see that this impacts a number of people, especially now with anxiety so high due to worries about Coronavirus.
This week will focus on providing information and advice about sleep and mental health. I have suffered from insomnia, which is usually linked to stress. I use the Sleep Cycle app to monitor my sleeping patterns. The app monitors how you have slept, simply by slipping your charged phone under your pillow at night. When I start to get insomnia. I know that I need to take particularly good care of my mental, as well as physical health.
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UK Money Bloggers Top Tips for #MHAW2020
I thought I would take this opportunity to ask top UK Money Bloggers what their Top Tips are for managing their sleep to share with you all. You should take a look at their incredible blogs too.
1. Stay off social media before bed
Laura from Thrifty Londoner says, “I try to stay off social media for an hour or so before bed if possible to help unwind and ensure my mind isn’t too busy with thoughts and ideas before sleeping”
2. Prepare the temperature of your room before bed
Dan from The Financial Wilderness, “I find the temperature is hugely important to my sleep, so if you can start to ‘prepare’ your room for sleep by making adjustments (like opening a window) before you’re at the getting ready stage it can help a lot. Studies generally show whilst we might like the idea of feeling Uber-cozy, we sleep slightly better in cold temperatures.
3. Lighting a Lavender scented candle next to your bed
“I always light a candle on my bedside table with a lavender scent. I find it hugely relaxing having the flame flickering away, and swear by it to help people wind down after a stressful day”. Another great tip from Claire Roach, Money Saving Central. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep with it still burning.
4. Don’t eat or drink before you go to bed
Emma Jackson from BeeMoneySavvy recommends to, “Aim to eat your last meal 4 hours before bed and try to not drink any fluids 1–2 hours before going to bed (consuming caffeine up to 6 hours before bed can also significantly worsened sleep quality)”.
5. A diffuser with lavender scent helps sleep
Nikki from The Female Money Doctor offers some great advice. ” I have a diffuser in my room with a lovely scent from neom that helps with sleep. I put lavender on my pillow as well. Also, I keep the room as dark as possible too. And if I drink tea too close to bedtime, I’ll be up for a wee in the middle of the night guaranteed!! So no caffeine or tea before bed. I also recommend that people try out an app called sleepio.com to work out their sleep score, but it’s only open to people living in certain areas. Finally…I read a book called “Why We Sleep”. It’s fabulous and explains so much about how to get a decent night’s sleep and why our sleep patterns change over our lifetime”. Amazon sells some great aromatherapy diffusers, one of which I have just bought for a friend of mine.
6. Write a to-do list for the next day
Rebecca from Boost My budget has the same problem as me. “My biggest problem with sleep is switching off a racing mind. I’ve found two things that help. Firstly, writing everything down – in particular, making a to-do list for the next day – so I don’t have to worry about forgetting things. Secondly, Sleep With Me podcast! It’s basically just this guy telling long, rambling stories in a very boring voice. It’s quite bizarre at first but it really helps calm my thoughts and I’m usually asleep by the end of the intro!”
7. Read a good book for half an hour before bed
“I read a good book for half an hour. Then I go to sleep mostly thinking about the story. I sometimes take a cup of decaf tea with me if I feel particularly awake and am worried I won’t sleep,” suggests Helen from Budgeting is a Challenge.
8. Watch your caffeine intake
Lesley from Thrifty Lesley offers a number of top tips: “Experts recommend a dark, quiet, cool room is best for sleeping, and that only two activities should happen in a bedroom, sleep and erm, the other one. If there is a tv in your bedroom or any other wakeful activity, your mind doesn’t associate the room with sleep enough. And yes, the book Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker is packed full of fascinating stuff about sleep. A recommended read. On a food theme, like my blog, caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours. So a single dose at a 7 am breakfast, and that breakfast cup may well contain a lot more than you think. 50% is still there at 1 pm. 25% at 7 pm and it’s still there, interfering, at 1 am when you’re trying to sleep. And don’t think you’ve got away with it by having de-caff. That can contain a third of the amount of fully caffeinated. So 3 cups a day of de-caff and you’re having the equivalent of a caffeinated cup. Spider webs made under the influence of caffeine are mind-boggling!”
9. Turn off all tech an hour before bed
Collette from Cashback Collete suggests, ” I find turning off all tech so no TV, laptop or phone at least an hour before bed really helps me sleep better. I sometimes try to read a book but if I can’t focus on that I also keep a journal beside my bed to write down thoughts or a quick to-do list to help clear my mind before bed”
10. Listen to the Calm app and journal for 10mins a night
Catherine Morgan from The Money Panel offers he great suggestions for a good night’s sleep. “I listen to the Calm app and journal for 10 mins each night to declutter my mind before going to sleep like a baby”.
11. Listen to the Calm app and journal for 10mins a night
“Exercise is my essential need for a good sleep – if I’m not physically tired enough I can never sleep properly!” is another great top tip from Emma, The Money Whisperer.
12. How to have a good night’s sleep
Nick a fellow UK Money Blogger also has created a list of top tips to have a good night’s sleep. I love the top tip to get comfortable pillows, which I have just recently done. Although I now have made it too cosy and don’t want to get out of bed!
“Make lists before you to go bed. Clean sheets always work for me!” – Broke Girl in the City