4 Tips to Help Veterans Tackle Sleep Issues

If you’re a veteran who has issues falling and staying asleep at night and worries about how a lack of sleep will affect you physically and mentally, know that you’re not alone. Many veterans struggle with sleep issues. If you want to reduce your insomnia and get the sleep your brain and body needs, you can try these sleep-boosting tips.

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Treat Yourself to a More Supportive Mattress

If you’re tossing and turning at night, you aren’t getting the rest you need to protect your overall well-being. Before you consider changing anything else about your sleep routine, think about whether it’s time to change your mattress. 

Memory foam mattresses are one of the more affordable and easily purchased styles available, but there’s a cornucopia of choices. Rather than aimlessly driving from store to store, start your search online. Remember to account for your preferred sleep position to determine firmness needs. 

Not sure if you need a new mattress? Some telltale signs that your bed has about had it include sagging, exposed springs, and old age. 

Maintain Your Self-Care Habits to Reduce Stress 

When you are experiencing chronic stress, it can be more difficult to sleep at night. Still, when you cannot sleep at night, Medical News Today warns that those feelings of stress can feel even more intense. As you can see, and as you may feel, the connection between sleep and stress can create a vicious cycle that can have damaging effects on your mental health. 

If you want relief from stress, and perhaps even relief from stress-induced sleep issues, you should make sure that your self-care is a top priority. More than just a luxury, self-care is a necessity for regulating stress and reducing the impact of chronic stress on your mental and physical health. 

Self-care can also be crucial for managing symptoms of particular mental health issues, including PTSD and depression. Need some ideas for improving your self-care habits? Finding relief from stress can be simple if you incorporate basic self-care practices into your daily routine, including meditation and exercise. Even keeping a clean and organized home can provide tension relief. 

Improve Your Evening Routines to Enhance Sleep 

Managing stress throughout the day can lead to better sleep at night, but you may also want to incorporate some of those soothing self-care habits into your bedtime routine. This is especially true if you typically wind down at night by watching television or scrolling through social media feeds. Harvard Health Publishing explains that evening exposure to screens, especially those with blue light, appears to disrupt the processes that are essential for helping your mind and body relax into restful sleep. 

A much better alternative for distracting your mind from racing thoughts and feelings is to read or to find other mindful activities that prevent anxiety from interfering with your sleep. This can include journaling, taking a warm bath, or practicing yoga

Take Your Mental Health Seriously and Seek Support 

If your mental health is impacting your ability to sleep, it may be time to find the support to take back control of your emotional well-being. For many veterans, U.S. News points out that can mean overcoming obstacles that seem to stand in the way of accessing the mental health services needed to maintain their quality of sleep and quality of life. Whether it’s worrying about stigmas associated with counseling and mental health issues, or confusion over how to get started, you should know that there are resources that can help you get better. 

You can start the process by looking into VA mental health resources, which can connect you to immediate support and provide assistance with applying for benefits and making appointments. 

Better sleep may not immediately lead to better mental health for veterans. But improving the quality of your sleep can be a step in the right direction. So try using the tips above to enhance your sleep and your mental health. 

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