The ultimate guide to improve sleep quality for highly sensitive empaths
Highly sensitive person and/or empath and struggling with sleep? This article gives you tips to improve sleep quality and feel more energized.
This post contains affiliate links, which means that we recommend products or services that we know well and may receive a commission if you purchase them too (at no additional cost to you).
Highly sensitive people and empaths need to recharge more than others in order to function. Due to their high levels of processing all the noise from the day, they need more ‘down-time’ in which their brains get to rest. Usually, this happens during sleep. However, it can be challenging to feel recharged and ready for the day when sleep is an issue. Sometimes it is a tough challenge to identify what is causing your sleep problems. However, in most cases it helps to adapt your lifestyle in certain ways. This article provides you with useful tips on how to improve sleep quality.
According to research, 50-70 million US adults have a sleep disorder. These numbers are scarily high! Approximately, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a day in order to function properly. As a result, sleeping less than that is not recommended, if you want to feel energized. This article even suggests that highly sensitive people need more sleep than people who are less sensitive. Moreover, due to the intense way of processing stimuli, it can take longer for highly sensitive people to truly recharge through sleep. Therefore, it is important for HSP’s to be aware of this and ensure good sleep quality.
If you do not sleep enough, there are serious consequences:
This article states that your ability to pay attention and to focus on the environmental sensory input will increase when you have a lack of sleep. Imagine what this must do to highly sensitive people and empaths! Chances are likely that you will feel overwhelmed by environmental stimuli more easily and as a result burn out easier. Consequently, this shows how important it is for highly sensitive people and empaths to improve sleep quality.
When you experience lack of sleep, your immune system will have a tougher time to produce cytokines to fight infection. As a result, your body will struggle to recover from illness. Consequently, when you get ill, you will struggle even more to get enough sleep. Therefore, it is of high significance to ensure good sleep quality before you go down that road and end in a vicious circle.
If you experience lack of sleep over a longer period of time, you may startto feel depressed. People suffering from insomnia are five times as likely to develop depression compared to those who get enough sleep. What is frightening, is that depression and sleep deprivation feed on each other and that it can be challenging to get out of this negative spiral. Hence, it is important to fight sleep deprivation and improve sleep quality in order to feel less depressed.
Besides the above mentioned consequences, the following results can occur when you are sleep deprived:
- Your weight might change
- You may become more forgetful
- Your risk of death increases
- Your judgement may be affected
- You have a higher risk for certain heart diseases
Feeling anxious after reading the consequences of your bad sleep? Don’t worry! With these tips you might improve sleep quality very soon!
Highly sensitive people are known to be more sensitive to chemicals such as caffeine, alcohol and nicotine compared to those who are less sensitive. Therefore, it is a no-brainer that you should stay away from these chemicals when you struggle with sleep.
The environment you sleep in has incredibly much influence on your quality of sleep. Therefore, it is recommended to look at your bedroom and see how you can improve it. For example, these aspects are important for a sleep-friendly bedroom:
- Your bedroom should be quiet, dark and cool
- Use heavy curtains to block noise from the outside and try to remove white-noise appliances
- Choose the right mattress and pillows
- Keep technical appliances such as a tv, phone etc. out of your bedroom
- Consider to give your pet a different sleep spot in your home if it disturbs your sleep
It is not recommended to do intense activities before going to bed. For this reason, give your body the time to calm down BEFORE going to bed. Consider to create a bedtime ritual where you each night do a couple of soothing activities. For example, this could be meditating, taking a hot bath/shower, writing down your gratitudes or simply sitting down and doing nothing. As a result, this will prepare your body for sleep.
For instance, you could try to implement this meditation into your bedtime routine?
If you are not tired, don’t go to bed. Not only is it frustrating for your body and mind to not be able to fall asleep fast, but it can influence you to wake up in the middle of the night. Therefore, if you do not fall asleep within 20 minutes, go out of bed and do a soothing activity. Go to bed when you are truly tired.
It is important to be aware of what you eat and drink close to bedtime. With this in mind, don’t eat food that will cause your digestion to work over hours at night and avoid drinking too much. You don’t want to get up in the middle of the night because you have to pee, right?
It is recommended to not do intensive activities before bedtime. Therefore, try to limit exercising or working to the day hours and do leisure activities in the evenings. In this way, you won’t take your thoughts with you into the night hours.
Have you tried all of the above mentioned tips and does nothing work? Perhaps you should consider to seek help from a professional. There are thousands of sleep experts who can help you to identify the cause for your lack of sleep. When you have tried everything else, this is a good option in order to improve sleep quality.