Let’s kick off your seven days of mental health tips by talking about sleep — and about how we’re sleep deprived. In 2016, it was estimated that 1 in 3 American adults weren’t getting enough shut eye. This can take a toll on our mental health.

Research has shown that sleep deprivation can worsen our memories and interfere with our ability to regulate negative emotions. It can also increase our risk of getting physical illnesses, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and chronic headaches.

That being said, getting more sleep is often harder than it seems — which is why setting a small goal can be an excellent way to transform your nighttime routine.

You might want to begin by committing to hitting the hay one hour earlier.

Tips for promoting better quality of sleep

If you’re looking for ways to improve your overall sleep hygiene, here are some suggestions to get you started:

  1. Refrain from watching television or playing online games in bed.
  2. Shut off your phone for the evening and keep it outside of the bedroom. (And if it acts as your alarm clock, go retro and purchase an old-fashioned alarm clock instead).
  3. Keep the bedroom between 60-67°F.
  4. Turn off bright lights.

Tomorrow: Quiet your mind.


Juli Fraga is a licensed psychologist based in San Francisco, California. She graduated with a PsyD from University of Northern Colorado and attended a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley. Passionate about women’s health, she approaches all her sessions with warmth, honesty, and compassion. See what she’s up to on Twitter.