Having healthy sleep habits affects your entire wellbeing and can help you live an improved quality of life.
Most adults do best when they get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day. During sleep your brain completes many important functions: it grows and repairs new cells; it forms new pathways so it can learn, remembering and processing information; and it replenishes your energy for the upcoming day ahead.
Sleep habits greatly affect your mental health. Good sleep habits can help you to feel less stressed, anxious, or down. When you have had enough sleep, your mood is likely to be better, and you can get through your day in a more positive way.
What gets in the way of sleep?
Sometimes getting quality sleep is easier said than done. It might feel challenging at times to get the quality of sleep that you want. There are different factors that can contribute to not being able to dedicate 8 hours to sleep, to fall asleep or to stay asleep.
The everyday stresses of life — your job, your family or relationships, money problems, jet lag — can keep you from sleeping well. Your habits and activities before bedtime, such as drinking coffee and alcohol, watching TV, or using the computer or phone, can also affect how well you sleep. Certain medical conditions like mental health challenges, sleep apnea, or chronic pain can cause sleep problems that happen more often. People who work night shifts may also struggle with getting quality sleep.
For some, it’s a matter of making small adjustments. Sometimes, sleep can be challenging to prioritize when faced with the demands of life and supporting your family or community.
Tips for sleeping well
There are ways to help you improve your sleep habits.
Get into a routine. It doesn’t have to be perfect but going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday, even weekends, can assist in creating long-lasting positive sleep habits.
You may want to talk to a trained mental health professional if mental health challenges, like anxiety or depression, are affecting your quality of sleep. Learn more about getting a good night's sleep.
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HealthLink BC (8-1-1)
Free, reliable non-emergency health information and advice available by phone (8-1-1), online, or mobile app.
Provides online mental health and substance use information for individuals and families in BC. The website features thousands of plain-language resources including personal stories, articles, information sheets and content in eleven languages. As well, individuals can email requests for help, support, information or referrals.
There are also four screening self-tests visitors can take covering mental well-being, depression, anxiety disorders and risky drinking. The website is coordinated by the Canadian Mental Health Association's BC Division on behalf of a group of mental health and addictions non-profit agencies called the BC Partners.