When it comes to mental health and wellbeing, three key lifestyle areas are crucial: sleep, exercise and diet.
Research shows that a high-quality diet, paired with regular exercise and quality sleep all help boost psychological wellbeing and reduce the risks of anxiety and depression. Any deficiencies in any or all these behaviours can negatively impact your mental health.
While you should prioritise all three for optimal health, taking extra steps to improve your sleep habits appears to be most beneficial when it comes to minimising stress and supporting your mood.
The average person needs around 7-9 hours of sleep per day to function at their best. A good bedtime routine, involving consistent sleep-wake times, avoiding stimulants and technology and a cool, undisturbed sleeping environment, can improve sleep. Also, supplementing with magnesium, such as our Ultra Mag product, can improve sleep depth and quality.
In addition to improving sleep, regular exercise releases endorphins that work to help improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. In fact, a lack of activity often correlates with poor mental health.
Research also shows that mental health and cognition are strongly influenced by the composition of our gut microbiome (essentially, the bacteria in your gut).
Digestion and gastro-intestinal issues can create anxiety and stress, playing a role in various dysfunctions in cognition, mood and general emotional state. You can take steps to improve your gut health, by removing inflammatory foods and focusing on eating whole, single-ingredient, unprocessed foods with a variety of nutrients and plenty of fibre.
So, take this as another reminder to not sacrifice sleep, stay consistent with your exercise and be mindful of what you put in your mouth.
For some healthy new additions to your balanced diet, click here.