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5 Tips To Improve Your Sleep and Mental Health

Steven Losardo, LMFT

We currently live in an extremely fast-paced world. A world where we don’t often let our brains shut down and rest. Between work stress and family responsibilities, and unexpected challenges, such as illnesses, it’s no wonder people have such a hard time sleeping (6 steps, 2020). However, sleep is vital to our mental health. Lack of sleep can lead to anxiety, depression, mood swings, poor diet, etc. In this article, we’ve put together 5 of some of the best tips for improving your sleep and obtaining greater mental health. 

Tip #1: Turn off electronics before bed

Many people who suffer from anxiety also note that they often have a hard time falling asleep. While there are dozens of reasons this could be the case, a prime reason is that they are trying to fall asleep immediately after staring at television of phone screen. In order to improve your sleep and reduce anxiety, turn off all electronics 30 minutes before you want to be asleep. This will tell your brain it’s time to relax and prepare you for a better night’s sleep. 

Tip #2: Create a night routine

Another key reason people have a difficult time falling asleep is they don’t have an unwinding night routine. Routines are not only great for sleep, but also great for reducing anxiety symptoms. When you get enough sleep, your brain is fully rested and able to better manage the day ahead. By creating a night routine that is filled with calming activities like reading, taking a bath, yoga, etc., you are telling your mind and body that it’s time to settle down for the evening. Further, there will likely be an increase in technological apps designed to improve sleep for people with mental health concerns (Chole, 2011). Be certain they actually will be of help by consulting a mental health professional who specializes in this area.  

Tips #3: Eat fruit before bed

Several studies have shown that eating certain fruits before bed can lead to greater sleep. Eating fruits like kiwis and cherries often lead to greater sleep (Elliot, 2020). Being able to stay asleep throughout the night can reduce symptoms of depression and improve your mental health. This is because our brains will be well-rested and prepared to manage our daily schedules. 

Tip #4: Be comfortable

One of the best ways to improve your sleep so that you see an improvement in your mental health is by ensuring you are comfortable. So many of us do not prioritize temperature, the right pillows, mattresses, and even cozy blankets. We settle because of the cost of such items. However, if you think about it, 1/3 of your life is spent on those mattresses. If there are no cost constraints, prioritize these pieces of furniture and spend on the good stuff. 

Tip #5: Go to bed at the same time every night

While a seemingly impossible task for most, do your best to stick to a “bedtime” when you can. This time can be determined by you and along with how much sleep your body needs. Be realistic here. What you want to avoid is choosing a time that requires you to then wake up 3 hours later. Our brains as adults need at least 6 hours of sleep. Some people can function on less, others need more. Do some trial and error here to find a time when you feel the most rejuvenated. Ask is “my mental health is in check?”

Good sleep correlates to our mental health. When we struggle with sleep, we then fall into anxious or depressed behaviors simply because our brains are tired. Other times, we can become anxious or depressed and a lack of sleep can heighten the intensity. When our brain is tired, our body is tired, and when our body is tired, we feel it. In order to improve our mental health, obtaining better sleep is a must. Simple things like turning off our electronics and sticking to a consistent sleep schedule and night routine can help heal the multifaceted nature of depression and anxiety. 


“6 Steps to Better Sleep.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research,

17 Apr. 2020, Retrieved from on October  31, 2021.

Choe, E. K., Consolvo, S., Watson, N. F., & Kientz, J. A. (2011, May). Opportunities for

computing technologies to support healthy sleep behaviors. In Proceedings of the

SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 3053-3062).

Elliott, Brianna. “9 Foods and Drinks to Promote Better Sleep.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 27

Aug. 2020, Retrieved from cherry-juice on October  31, 2021.

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