The UK is right in the midst of Mental Health Awareness Week right now. This campaign week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, runs from 14 May to 20 May. Organisations like Mind are coming together with the Mental Health Foundation to explore stress and if and how the nation coping with it.
This week-long campaign aims to create awareness of stress and its effects, and to talk about what solutions can be applied to create a less stressful environment, particularly at work.
Stress Affects Mental Health
The Mental Health Foundation says that, according to a recent research report, stress is a big factor in the mental health problems that are experienced by two thirds of people in their lifetimes. Because it plays such a big role, taking care of stress can have a great impact on mitigating occurrences and the effects of mental problems like depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 focuses on the workplace, and what both employees and employers can do to create a mentally healthy workplace. The aim is to encourage an environment where everyone feels valued and supported. Stress is not going away, but too much of it in everyday life is a problem that needs to be managed. Stress does not necessarily cause or aggravate mental health problems – there are solutions.
Mental Health is Connected to Sleep
Mind says that there’s a close link between mental health and sleep – they can have negative impacts on each other. A mental health problem can cause you to have poor sleep, and poor sleep can in turn cause or aggravate a mental health problem. We at The Bamboo Factory understand this relationship. Mind describes the cycle of tiredness and stress as: difficulty coping with daily life induces low self esteem, which induces feelings of worry and stress, which induces lack of sleep, which induces tiredness, which induces difficulty coping, and on and on it goes.
You may have a sleep problem if you experience poor sleep that affects your ability to function in daily life. This sleep problem then creates more stress and typically results in declining mental health. When you have a sleep problem, it can cause you to feel lonely or isolated and to have negative thoughts, and be less able to manage them or deal with them in a healthy manner. You may experience depression and anxiety as well. Yoru sleep problem can even cause you to experience psychotic episodes. If you have an existing psychotic or bipolar disorder, it can aggravate symptoms or trigger mania, psychosis and paranoia.
When you worry and experience anxiety, your mind tends to race with negative thoughts. This prevents you from falling asleep or staying asleep. Mania – feelings of elation or being overly energetic – can also cause your mind to race, usually making you feel like you don’t want or need to go to sleep. Depression can lead to oversleeping, but sleeping poorly, and you wake up feeling unrested. If you experience nightmares, night terrors, paranoia or psychosis, these can interrupt healthy sleep patterns and make it difficult for you to go to sleep again – whether that same night or the next.
Being comfortable is a big factor in sleeping well – you don’t need a research paper to tell you that much. But comfort can be difficult to achieve when you are already in the vicious sleep-stress cycle. Comfort is a combination of managing stress so your mind is calm, relaxing before bedtime every night, and creating a physically comfortable space for sleep. The stressors that affect us are varied, and you need to identify what yours are and what works to help you deal with them. What makes for an effective bedtime routine also depends on your personal preferences. Physical comfort can also be different for you than it is to someone else, but is basically about sleeping in the proper position and getting the right support. We can help with this last one.
The Bamboo Pillow has a few items that are designed to help you create a better sleep environment to improve your quality of sleep. We have soft and supportive mattress toppers and pillows that keep your head, neck and shoulders in the right positions to ease tension and reduce the pressure of the body’s weight to prevent and relieve pain and physical stress. We also have cooling gel pillows that help you maintain the right temperature for quality sleep. Our bamboo charcoal air purifier improves the air quality in your room and our bamboo sleeping eye mask with ear plugs block out light and noise. These products work to ease your senses and help you prepare for and sustain quality sleep.
Taking care of your bedtime comfort as well as trying other techniques to help you sleep can have a great positive impact on the quality of your sleep and thus also help you avoid developing mental health problems, or reduce the symptoms of existing mental health problems. Don’t put your health at the bottom of your to-do list. Take care of you today!