The importance of sleep in eating disorder recovery
The importance of sleep cannot be overstated.
Sleep – one of the most important nutrients of all. But many adults wonder: why is something that is so simple also so difficult to achieve on a regular basis?
Regardless of the reasons why, for people who struggle with restlessness or insomnia, the very thought of laying in bed, tossing and turning, and trying to fall to sleep, can be maddening. It’s enough to make you want to get up, turn on the TV or coffee pot, and just move on with the day —but if compounded, that cycle would prove out to be very dangerous indeed. Your body needs sleep. Forgoing it can have a disastrous impact on your health—and for that matter, on your eating disorder recovery.
Benefits of proper, adequate sleep
Sleep is a vital, often neglected, component of every person’s overall health and well-being, aiding in:
- mood regulation
- stress management
- anxiety management
- strong immune system
- good energy levels
- health health
Strategies for getting enough sleep
Sleep provides the body and mind with needed opportunities to heal and to recharge. The consequences of missing sleep can include irritability, lethargy, poor concentration, a diminished attention span, and even hallucinations.
A good night’s sleep is imperative for your overall health and well-being, but what can you do to get to sleep at night when rest proves so elusive?
- Start by adjusting your intake of stimulants, especially caffeine; try to cut out the caffeine afternoon, if at all possible. Cut out alcohol before bedtime, too.
- Get into a routine. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Staying up late or sleeping in can really throw you off. Allow your body to fall into a pattern.
- Allow yourself some time to really relax before bedtime. Yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, pleasure reading, a hot bath—all of these are fine ways to prepare for bed.
- Ensure the room you’re sleeping in is a cool, comfortable environment. Make it as dark as you can, investing in thick curtains if need be.
- Turn off your electronic devices two hours before bed. The blue light from your phone, laptop, and tablet can actually interfere with your body’s natural rhythms.
Focus on getting into bed and simply relaxing; don’t pile stress on yourself. Just get yourself ready for sleep to come—and it’ll be so sweet when it does.
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