May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a topic we care about deeply all year long at Rev. Along with being a Massachusetts dispensary and grow facility, we are a community of cannabis advocates here to help you holistically address your mental health.
An important contributing factor to your mental health is getting a good night’s sleep. Proper rest helps your brain and body perform necessary functions, giving your whole self the support it needs to feel energized, resilient, and positive.
Getting good sleep is a process, one that starts with creating and maintaining a sleep schedule. Keep reading to discover why having a sleep schedule is imperative for better mental health!
Relationship Between Sleep and Mental Health
Mental health and sleep quality have a bidirectional relationship. That means your mental health affects how well you can sleep, and your quality of sleep impacts your mental health and wellbeing. Sleep problems are common in people with anxiety, depression, and other mental health struggles, but a lack of sleep can make anyone feel not their best. This is because during sleep, your brain becomes activated in a variety of beneficial ways.
During sleep, the human brain goes through five cycles. Each sleep cycle triggers specific activity in different parts of the brain, helping your brain process important information — thinking, learning, and the evaluation of emotions and memories all happen in your brain during sleep. For this reason, a lack of sleep could prevent your brain from functioning at full capacity.
Not only does your mind rely on proper sleep, but so does your body. There are two parts to the human sleep/wake cycle:
1. Circadian rhythm — This is your natural “body clock” that relies on the sunlight to promote sleepiness. Your circadian rhythm is driven by your body’s neurotransmitters, and supports important bodily functions like digestion and hormonal regulation.
2. Homeostatic sleep drive — This is the “sleep pressure” your body feels after being awake for a long time. Your homeostatic sleep drive ensures that when you’re tired, your body can shut down and get the rest it needs.
Your circadian rhythm works in opposition to your homeostatic sleep drive. That means ideally, your circadian rhythm tells your body to be awake during the day and your homeostatic sleep drive tells your body to fall asleep at night. But as many of us know, this isn’t always the case.
How Sleep Schedules Promote Better Sleep
Having a healthy sleep schedule is an important part of getting the high-quality rest you need for a healthy and happy mind. There are two elements to creating or fixing your sleep schedule: going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, and following a set routine that you perform every night before you go to bed.
Falling asleep and waking up at the same time every day helps align your homeostatic sleep drive and circadian rhythm, making it easier for your body to fall and stay asleep. Equally important, sleep schedules give your brain and body a bedtime routine. This brings repetition into your nighttime habits, causing your brain to eventually learn that certain actions mean it’s time for sleep.
Performing the same bedtime routine with your sleep schedule does more than help your brain pick up on sleep-inducing cues. Having a sleep routine also lets your mind focus on calming tasks instead of the stress, worries, and other thoughts that keep us up at night. As Julie Battel CNM/MPH has told us, sometimes insomnia and other sleep struggles are simply anxiety that occurs when you’re lying down in bed — and addressing your anxiety may also improve your sleep issues.
Sleep Hygiene Tips: Making and Maintaining An Adult Sleep Schedule
The best sleep schedule gives you ample time to relax, slow down your mind, and prepare your entire body for some shut-eye. Here are four suggestions as you create and keep to your sleep schedule:
Consistency is key when it comes to your sleep schedule. Your brain will adjust to your sleep routine best when it’s the same every night — even on days off or vacations. Try to avoid long naps late in the day, and also try to keep your bedroom for sleep and sexual activity only!
2. Put your phone away
Your circadian rhythm is most sensitive to light exposure two hours before bed and one hour after waking up. By reducing phone exposure during these moments, you can manage your light exposure and help your body stick to its circadian rhythm. Electronic screens also emit blue light, which suppresses your body’s melatonin production — meaning it’s especially important to avoid screens before bedtime.
3. Help yourself relax, naturally
It’s important to build pre-sleep relaxation time into your sleep schedule. There are many ways to naturally calm your mind, body, and brain — discover six of the best ways to naturally fall asleep.
4. Be patient — and realistic
Forming and following a sleep schedule doesn’t happen overnight! The more consistent you are, the easier it will become to stick to your sleep routine — but it’s more important to not get down on yourself every time you stay up late or hit the snooze button. It’s also important to create a sleep schedule that works best for your lifestyle, not the schedule you “think” you should follow.
Get Your Best Rest with Rev
At Rev, we hope to be more than a dispensary in Massachusetts with high-quality cannabis products and advice — we want to give our patients all the tools necessary to strengthen mental health and feel your very best.
It takes some trial and error to adjust to a new sleep schedule, but it will be worth it! As you experiment with your sleep cycle, you can also experiment with your cannabis medicine for mental health and sleep hygiene. Cannabis shouldn’t be the only element of your sleep schedule, but it can help you achieve the great sleep you need.
Our Astaria Hibernation Chews are crafted specifically with good sleep in mind! Boasting both melatonin and cannabis elements — including CBD and THC alongside sleep-inducing terpenes myrcene and beta-caryophyllene — these vegan-friendly and gluten-free chews promote balanced sleep for better mental health. Find Astaria Hibernation Chews, and many other incredible products, for cannabis delivery and pickup on the Rev menu!