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There’s a close relationship between sleep and mental health, and just as our respective mental health journeys vary widely, so do our sleep journeys. Sleep and rest are also critical to our physical health: Research shows you’re more productive, focused, resilient and creative when you’re well rested.

Choosing to prioritize rest in a world that celebrates busyness is not easy. It requires mindfulness, self-awareness and a commitment to make space for rest and sleep. The Calm app, a rest and relaxation app free to CTA members, can help. Its meditation and sleep content can advance your sleep journey and improve your overall health.

The Cleveland Clinic offers tips for better sleep hygiene that include components where the Calm app can easily be used, including:

  1. Keep consistent sleep and wake times. Doing this will train your circadian rhythm — your body’s natural internal clock — to go to sleep and wake up at appropriate times, and you’ll be better primed to fall asleep faster and wake up more refreshed.
  2. Start winding down an hour before bedtime. Your best bedtime will depend on how much sleep you need (seven to nine hours is typical). If you need eight hours of sleep, count backward from the time you need to wake up and plan to shut your eyes at the right time. Add an hour beforehand for a calming routine such as reading or taking a warm bath or shower — or using the Calm app. Keep the lights dim and avoid screens.
  3. Make your room comfy. Keep your phone, tablet, computer and other screens out of the bedroom. Get a supportive mattress and comfy pillows. Lighting should be minimal, and room temperature on the cool side.
  4. Cut out bedtime drinking and snacking. Both can take a toll on your ability to sleep well. Keep an eye on your caffeine and alcohol intake late in the day.
  5. Calm your mind. Try the Calm app for meditation, gentle stretches, relaxing music and more.
  6. Avoid exercise before bed. Exercising within an hour or two before bedtime can trigger insomnia or difficulty falling asleep.
  7. See an expert if you need more help.

Rest is the key to resilience. It’s important to remember that a nap won’t set you back. An early night won’t mean unraveling all your hard work. An afternoon dedicated to restful activities doesn’t mean you’re unproductive. Take the rest you need — and get Calm!

Get Calm

To sign up for your free CTA premium subscription to Calm, visit Member Benefits Calm page . For any questions, please call Member Benefits (650) 552-5200.

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