The UK is currently celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. From 14 May to 20 May 2018, organisations like Mind are coming together to explore stress and how we are coping with it - or if we are.
The aim of this week-long campaign is to create awareness of stress and its effects, and to talk about solutions that we can apply to create a less stressful environment, particularly at work.
Stress and Mental Health
According to a recent research report by the Mental Health Foundation, stress plays a big part in the mental health problems that two thirds of people experience in their lifetime. As such, taking care of stress factors can greatly reduce the occurrences and effects of mental struggles like anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies and self-harm.
This year, Mental Health Awareness Week focuses on the workplace, and what employees and employers can do to encourage a mentally healthy workplace. The aim is to create an environment where everyone feels valued and supported. Stress is a part of everyday life, but too much stress is a problem that needs to be dealt with. Stress does not have to cause or aggravate mental health problems.
Mental Health and Sleep
According to Mind, there's a close connection between sleep and mental health - they affect each other. Having a mental health problem can disrupt sleep, and poor sleep can also affect mental health. At The Bamboo Factory, we understand this link. Mind describes this relationship of tiredness and stress as a cycle - difficulty coping with daily life leads to low self esteem, which leads to feelings of worry and stress, which leads to lack of sleep, which leads to tiredness, which leads back to difficulty coping.
When poor sleep affects a person’s ability to function in daily life, it becomes a sleep problem that creates more stress and results in declining mental health. Sleep problems can cause people to feel lonely or isolated and to have negative thoughts, and be less able to cope with them in a healthy way. Depression and anxiety are common effects. Sleep problems can even cause people to experience psychotic episodes and aggravate symptoms or trigger mania, psychosis and paranoia in people with existing psychotic or bipolar disorders.
Worry and anxiety can cause the mind to race with negative thoughts, preventing you from falling or staying asleep. Mania can also cause your mind to race and also make you feel like you don’t want or need sleep. Depression can cause you to sleep too much, but wake up feeling unrested. Nightmares, night terrors, paranoia and psychosis can disrupt sleep and make it difficult to sleep again - whether that night or another night.
Comfort is a big factor in helping you sleep better. Being comfortable is a combination of dealing with stress to calm the mind, having a relaxing sleep time routine, and making sure you are physically comfortable when you lay down to sleep. We all have different stressors and need to identify them and find ways to deal with them that work. A bedtime routine that works also depends on our individual preferences. Physical comfort can also be different to different people, but is generally about sleeping positions and support. We can help with this last one.
The Bamboo Factory provides several sleep aids to help you create a better sleep environment so you can improve your quality of sleep. We have comfortable and supportive mattress toppers and pillows that properly cradle the head, neck and shoulders to ease tension and reduce pressure that can cause pain and physical stress. Our pillows also make for cooler sleep, which is a factor in getting quality rest. We also have a bamboo charcoal air purifier that improves the air quality in your room and a bamboo sleeping eye mask with ear plugs that blocks out light and noise, both of which work to ease your senses and help you prepare for deeper sleep.
Focusing on comfort as well as applying other sleep techniques can greatly improve your quality of sleep and thus help you avoid or reduce the symptoms of mental health problems. Your health should be your top priority. Start taking care of yourself today!