Sleep and Mental Health

Written by: Brittany Glaser, M.A., M.Div.
Sleep and Mental Health

When I was growing up, my mom would always ask us in the morning, “How did you sleep last night?” Now I find myself working with teens and asking them a slightly different question, “Did you sleep last night?”. Usually the answers range from a shrug to answers that they slept 1-4 hours.

Teenagers (and adults!) today struggle to find time for sleep. As a culture we often prioritize everything else first. You must finish these emails first, watch the end of that show, facetime that friend, or do this paper. Often not prioritizing sleep impacts us much more than we realize.

Consistently getting inadequate sleep (less than 7-10 hours a night) can add to stress and make it more difficult to manage emotions and have healthy interactions with others.

Here are a few sleep tips towards getting a consistent sleep schedule:

  1. Don’t take naps
  2. Go to sleep (and wake up) at the same time every day
  3. Develop sleep rituals. These are routines that you engage in before falling asleep every night.
  4. Refrain from doing anything but sleeping in your bed.
  5. Avoid any screen time an hour before you go to bed.

Trying these tips can help you get into a sleep rhythm that can help increase your ability to have more energy, motivation, and feel more capable of handling the things that occur throughout the day.