12 Jan How to Feel More Energized in 2018
Many of us create New Year’s resolutions that last maybe a week, usually less. Unfortunately, the excitement of a new year and new beginnings quickly wears off and reality sets in. Eventually, we neglect them, get distracted by higher priorities or give up. Sure, we’d like to exercise 3-5 times a week, but professional and personal obligations demand our attention. And sure, we want to eat healthier, but stress and temptation take over and we forget what we promised ourselves.
Why are resolutions so darn hard to stick to?
Because resolutions require time, energy, attention and can add pressure to an already stressful life.
What if we create a resolution that we could keep? One that gives us so much bang for our buck that we wouldn’t think of not doing it.
So instead of giving you a list of possible resolutions that would be a “nice idea,” let’s focus on one that has a BIG impact and requires LESS effort.
One of the highest quality energy fuel sources for humans (and all animals) is sleep. Many of us rely on sugar and caffeine to give us a jolt of energy, but neither of those substances help our physical or mental health. Real sustainable energy comes from sleep and rest.
Often, with full schedules, demanding obligations and overwhelming stress, we cut back on sleep. “I’ll sleep when …this project is over …or after the first quarter …or once the kids are out of the house.” But, we need sleep now.
Sleep is not the greedy time suck we fear it is. It’s actually a remedy for a host of mental health problems like stress, anxiety, and depression.
According to a Harvard Health article, “Chronic sleep problems affect 50% to 80% of patients in a typical psychiatric practice, compared with 10% to 18% of adults in the general U.S. population. Sleep problems are particularly common in patients with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”1
Quality sleep helps strengthen the immune system while enhances learning and memory and supports emotional regulation.1 Insomnia can lead to depression. Alternately, depression can also lead to insomnia. Regardless, the link between poor sleep and poor mental health has been long established.2 The rejuvenation that sleep and rest provides can help tackle the barrage of negative or overwhelming thoughts that can transpire during the day. It can also give us more patience, understanding, and compassion for ourselves and others.
Still not sure if you can make improving your sleep a priority?
Let’s look at the facts:
- 87% of depression patients who resolved their insomnia had major improvements in their depression, with symptoms disappearing after 8 weeks2
- Study participants who received cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) sessions for insomnia were able to successfully treat their insomnia2
- Past research showed 60% of those receiving CBT insomnia therapy fully recovered from their depression after 7 sessions2
You may already know the basics of good sleep hygiene like getting regular exercise, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and sleeping in a cool, dark, quiet room.
But here are some lesser known recommendations (that are relatively easy), which can also make remarkable improvements:
- Reserve the bed only for sleeping
- Establish a regular wake-up time
- Get out of bed once awake (vs lingering)
- Avoid watching tv, being on the phone, listening to music or a podcast, eating or even reading in bed.
What to do instead? Try meditating or follow a breathing exercise.
A research study from 2008 found that participants who used CBT therapy to treat their insomnia “recovered from their depression at nearly twice the rate of those who did not …. [and] that 60 percent of those receiving CBT therapy fully recovered from their depression after seven sessions, compared to 33 percent of those who [only] received sleep hygiene therapy…”2
Getting quality sleep encourages good mental health. If chronic sleep issues persist, seek the help of a medical professional.
AbleTo helps people overcome the stress, anxiety, and feeling of overwhelm that can prevent quality sleep and can lead to depression or other mental health issues. We deliver programs based on your unique circumstances and needs. We make it easy and convenient. All therapy and coaching sessions are available from the comfort, privacy and convenience of your own home at the time, day or night, that works best for your schedule. Through phone or video chat, we connect you with our Care Team so that you can get the support to help you feel better.
Are you getting the sleep you need to feel energized and happy?
AbleTo can help.
There is a lot you can do yourself, but sometimes you just need personal support. Let our behavior coaches and therapists give you one-on-one tailored help.
Call us at 833-498-5360, Monday-Friday 10am-8pm EST or Saturday 10am-6pm EST. Or request a call and we'll call when it is convenient for you.