The news we received this week wasn’t what any of us were expecting. But we will get through this (again) by being kind and looking out for one another.
In times of change it is natural to feel a wide range of emotions, thoughts and feelings. This increased stress load can impact or sleep, mental health, and immunity.
It's no secret that mental health and sleep are closely linked.
You've probably felt this at various times in your life. You've had a horrible day, you come home, go to sleep and the next day nothing seems quite as bad as it did the day before. Or you have a terrible sleep and everything the next day even the simple things are so much more difficult.
Research shows that there's no psychiatric condition that quality and adequate sleep doesn't support. The Catch 22 being that poor mental health can also affect the quality and quantity of our sleep.
But there is more to it… the influences on our sleep and mental health are numerous.
Focus on what you can control and forget the rest.
For many of us, there are factors beyond our control that impact our sleep. If you work shifts around the clock or you are a parents (especially with a newborn!), you'll know exactly what we're talking about. We encourage you to shift your focus away from the things you cannot control, toward the things you can.
You don't have to do it all, but do what you can, when you can.
You don't have to do it all, but do what you can, when you can. All the little things add up and become the big things. Focusing on cultivating just one wellness habit, it will naturally makes the others easier.
If your sleep schedule is somewhat out of your control, instead you can prioritise hydration, movement, or even simply making an effort to speak kindly to yourself.
Everything is connected.
Generally speaking, what's genuinely good for one aspect of our health will be good for everything else as well. Great news, right?
We have created these two lists to support you in nurturing your sleep and mental health (and by default, the wellbeing of your wholebeing!). We've split them into what each action will support either sleep or mental health most quickly.
3 ways to support better sleep for better mental health:
1. Eat Dinner 2-3 Hours Before Bed
If our body is still processing food while we're sleeping, it's unable to put its full energy into undergoing the restorative and regenerative processes. These only happen while we're asleep, so we want to maximise this nourishing process.
To fall asleep and experience deeper sleep we recommend a gap of 2-3 hours between eating and going to sleep. Things don't always go to plan, but ideally you would want to have eaten dinner by 7 or 8PM.
2. Activate Your Parasympathetic Nervous System
This one isn't as complex as it may sound! Our parasympathetic system is also known as 'rest and digest' mode. If you've ever been lying in bed waiting to fall asleep, you'll know it quite tricky to just relax on command. Just because it's 10pm which is 'bedtime,' doesn't mean your body and brain will be ready for sleep. Luckily, there are some simple things we can do to tell our body that it is safe, and can physiologically relax—we call this a bedtime routine.
Two of our favourite ways to activate rest and digest mode are 5 minutes of 'legs up the wall' (spoiler alert—it's exactly what it sounds like!) and deep belly breathing. You can combine the two for an extra relaxing, pre-sleep ritual.
3. Nutrients To Support Quality Sleep
The nourishing ingredients in BePure Deep Sleep helps support our mind to relax. Formulated by Ben and the BePure team, the herbs in Deep Sleep activate GABA receptor sites a calming neurotransmitter, and stimulate the production of melatonin which is our sleepy time hormone.
Magnesium is notoriously beneficial for quality sleep. Magnesium bigylcinate—the form used in BePure Magnesium Restore—supports the relaxation of our body, muscles in particular. Bye, bye restless legs!
3 things to support better mental health for better sleep:
1. Eat A (Mostly) Whole Foods Diet
Nutrients should come primarily from food. When we're eating mostly whole foods, we're naturally reducing the amount of processed and refined foods we're eating.
Our mind and our body are closely connected—the food we eat most regularly affects so much more than 'our waistline'. Nourishing, whole foods support good mental wellbeing, immunity, hormone balance, gut health… everything really! Conversely, processed, refined, sugary foods do the opposite.
Of course, it's what we do most of the time that counts. Treats mindfully enjoyed here and there are totally fine—especially if they are high in good quality fats like our Turmeric Nut Slice, Gluten-Free Banana Bread or Choc-Top Smoothie Blocks.
2. Nourish The Body, Nourish The Brain
Nutrients are precursors for the hormones and neurotransmitters that make us feel good, like GABA, dopamine and serotonin. These are much easier for our body to produce when we have broad spectrum nutrient sufficiency to build them from.
3. Move Your Body
Humans are designed to move. Research into the link between exercise and mental health showed that exercise had the same effect size as anti-depressants for treating depression.
As well as directly supporting mental health, exercise and movement can contribute to more sound and restful sleep. Physical activity increases time spent in deep sleep, the most physically restorative sleep phase.
Movement doesn't have to be limited to the gym or running a marathon. 30 minutes of playing with the kids, taking a walk around the block, or doing some yoga. Find some form of movement that you enjoy doing—any kind of movement done regularly is better than none at all.
We encourage you to pick something from the lists above to try. Pay attention to how adding in this wellness supporting habit can create ripple effect across other aspects of your health. Where are you going to start?