3 Steps to Escape the Sleep-Mood Spiral

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Do you ever wonder if your mood affects your sleep or if it’s the other way around? It’s a common question, and scientists have been studying this intriguing relationship. In a recent study from the Netherlands, researchers set out to uncover the dynamics between sleep and mood. Let’s explore their findings and discover practical strategies to break the sleep-mood spiral.

So, here’s what happened in the study: Participants were asked to complete an online questionnaire three times a day for 30 days. They had to rate statements that reflected their emotions, worry levels, and sleep quality on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 100 (very much).

The results showed that good sleep predicts a positive mood the following day, while poor sleep predicts a negative mood. On the other hand, having a positive mood during the day contributes to better sleep, while negative emotions and worry lead to poor sleep quality. Interestingly, the impact of sleep on our mood was more pronounced than the effects of mood on sleep.

Now, how can you break free from the sleep-mood spiral? Here are some tips:

1. Recognise the Cycle 

Acknowledge the interconnected nature of worry, poor sleep, and negative emotions. Excessive worry can disrupt your sleep, leading to intrusive negative thoughts and emotional distress. Conversely, sleep problems can impair your ability to manage negative emotions effectively. Awareness of this cycle empowers you to take proactive steps toward breaking free from its grip.

2. Discover Strategies for Better Sleep

Consider incorporating cognitive behavioural techniques (CBT-I) to optimise your sleep. Create a relaxing pre-sleep ritual that helps calm your mind, such as reading a book, practising deep breathing, engaging in meditation, or jotting down your thoughts in a journal. Prioritise a sleep-friendly environment by ensuring your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. Challenge negative thoughts about sleep by reframing them with positive and realistic alternatives.

3. Embrace Awake Time in Bed

Rather than becoming frustrated when you find yourself awake in bed, view it as an opportunity for relaxation and self-care. Engage in activities like reading a book or allowing your mind to gently wander. Reframe your mindset, appreciating this time as a peaceful break. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is crucial, even if you’ve had a difficult night. Avoid the temptation to sleep in or nap, as it can perpetuate the cycle of insomnia.

Breaking free from the sleep-mood spiral requires patience and determination, but you possess the power to create positive change. By prioritising restful sleep, addressing negative emotions and worry, and implementing practical strategies, you can unlock the transformative power of restful nights. Take charge of your sleep, and watch as your mood and overall well-being flourish.

Here’s to nights filled with peaceful slumber and days brimming with positivity!




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