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Rest and Mental Health: Finding the Balance

By Genevieve Cunningham

When it comes to taking care of mental health, you've probably heard all of the advice. You know you're supposed to get a good group of friends. You know you're supposed to ask for help from a professional when you need it. You know to slow down and take breaks from work and responsibility. But we may be missing one of the most obvious and most effective things of all. Sleep! The rest that we get (or don't get) significantly affects mental health. How? To protect your health -- mental and physical -- take a look at why rest matters every day.

How a Lack of Rest Can Hurt

Fatigue is a big deal. When we're not getting enough rest, our entire body suffers. We may experience aches, lack of focus, headaches, and many other side effects. And when it comes to mental health, it can make us feel moody, irritable, and unable to cope with life's difficulties. It's also important to note that mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can lead to insomnia. If you're not getting enough rest, it's a good idea to see your general practitioner and your mental health care professional to get back on track.

How Too Much Sleep Can Hurt

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some people with mental health issues actually feel sleepy all of the time. They get a full night's rest, but they still feel exhausted the next day. When we get too much sleep, we can feel blue or lack motivation. And sometimes, it can make us feel even more tired. If you've been sleeping more than usual, it won't hurt to get to the doctor for a complete physical and mental health checkup.

How to Find the Balance

Balance is key to just about everything, and this is also true when we're trying to find the balance between rest and mental wellness. How do we do it? We schedule our rest and reach out for help. If you don't have a bedtime and wake up time, set them now. If you don't have a wind down routine, start creating one now. And if you still can't get your rest regulated, reach out for help! The sooner you get your rest under control, the sooner you can address any mental health issues that are getting in your way.

It's easy to dismiss issues with sleep as normal or mainstream. And while they are definitely common, they're not something to ignore! Pay attention to your sleeping habits and make adjustments where necessary. With some planning and some help, you can keep your rest and your mental health in check all year long.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Winter Springs, Fla.

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