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Welcome to our Mood-E Blog

October, 2021        

Written by, Erica Armstead-Whitaker, BA (South Carolina)

Erica Armstead-Whitaker received her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Saint Leo University. Currently she is a graduate student at Webster University (Columbia Metro Campus). She is enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health Program where she is expected to graduate May of 2024. 

Erica is a resident in Columbia, South Carolina. She enjoys travelling, hiking, videogames, and spending time with her husband and two dogs. 

THE INSOMNIAC CHRONICLES
#1
SLEEP, WHERE ART THOU?

There is one fact that many people share.

 That one fact is that it is super hard to get a good night’s rest. If you are anything like me, you co-sleep with a 40 pound plus furry dictator. Ruby demands all the bed space. Every. Night.  Her favorite spot is in the dead center of my bed which leaves me feeling tired and achy. Sometimes the call of Tic Tok and Instagram may cause you to lose precious time sleeping. While I do love the occasional 30 seconds of comedy, I really pay for it in the morning. In any case, sleep hygiene is not only important for your physical health, but also your mental health. Here are a few statistics courtesy of the Sleep Foundation

  • People with severe insomnia are seven times more likely to have work- related accidents than good sleepers.
  • About 70% of adults who suffer with depression also have issues with insomnia.
  • Almost half of all Americans say they feel sleepy during the day between three and seven days per week.
  • Drowsy driving is responsible for more than 6,000 fatal car crashes every year in the United States.

How to Improve Sleep Hygiene 

How can we improve sleep hygiene? One way that many people have tried to improve sleep is to remove televisions from bedrooms. While that may help some, others may feel that move to be too drastic. Some people feel that it makes the bedroom too quiet, thus making the problem worse. Here are some small, yet practical ways that you can improve your sleep hygiene:

  • Put the phone down or use nighttime mode located in the phone settings.

If you must have your phone time, be sure to activate the night mode. This will turn off the blue light which has been proven to keep the brain awake. If possible, put the phone down and away from the bed.

  • Lower the temperature in the room (62 degrees is optimal…no I’m not kidding)

If that seems too frigid for you, the recommendation is that you set the temperature so that your body does not sweat at night. Of course, this can be adjusted according to your climate.

  • Start your bedtime routine about a half hour before going to bed. 

Having a bedtime ritual will help prepare your mind and your body for bed. The key is to get relaxed. Some people like to read before bed, while others find a bath to be relaxing. What activity do you find relaxing?

  • Put the television on a sleep timer.

Can’t get enough of a new Netflix series? Instead of caving in and binging, try going into your television’s settings, and use the sleep timer. Not only will it bank some extra sleep time, but it will also give you something to look forward to tomorrow night!

 That’s it for now. But until next time, have a happy and restful slumber! 

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