Most of us don’t get enough, good quality sleep – and it’s well known that this has a negative effect on our mental health and physical health.
When we don’t sleep well, our brains struggle to function properly, which exacerbates conditions such as depression and anxiety. Our bodies too suffer the ill effects of bad sleep, making us more susceptible to illness, lowering our pain thresholds, and affecting our diet and exercise choices, leading to potential problems with our weight.
So, with all this information telling us to improve sleep, the only question that remains is: how do we do it?
Tip One: Control Your Sleep Environment
If you’re going to get good sleep, you need to have a good place to do it!
Keep your bed for sleep and sex – if it’s a space set aside for those things, your brain will find it easier to switch off in that environment
Block out light – invest in some thick curtains, and turn off any devices that emit light (that includes phones, tablets and backlit e-readers!)
Make sure your bed is comfortablefor you – so this means a supportive mattress, the right number of pillows for you, and enough room to move in your sleep without causing problems
Bed time is quiet time – if you can’t block out all noise due to noisy neighbours or traffic, invest in some ear plugs to keep your sleep undisturbed
Make sure the temperature of the room is right – while the image of a nice warm bed is probably the most inviting, it might not be the best for sleep. Our body temperature drops when we sleep, so a nice cool environment encourages better sleep
Tip Two: Build Better Habits
If you’re in the habit of going to bed at a certain time, it will make it easier to get a good night’s rest consistently!
Have a bed time – humans are creatures of habit, so going to bed at the same time every day (around 7-8 hours before you need to get up) will help you maintain a good sleep pattern
And to that end, try not to sleep in at the weekend– if you keep a good pattern at the weekend, you won’t have that jet-lagged feeling on Monday morning!
Late nights happen, so if you’re going to an event take a controlled afternoon nap rather than sleeping in the day after. This way, you decrease your sleep deficit without interrupting that rhythm you’ve built up
Tip Three: Be Smart About Diet and Exercise
We all know healthy habits make for healthier minds and bodies (even if we ignore that advice now and again), but there are specific things to take into account when it comes to sleep.
Cut the caffeine – I’m not going to tell you to skip your morning coffee, and we all know that caffeine is a stimulant and not conducive to good sleep. But did you know that caffeine can still be having an effect on your body up to 12 hours after consumption?
Studies have shown that those who undertake regular exercisehave better sleep, although it can take up to several months for the benefits to take hold. Just make sure you don’t exercise from about 3 hours before you sleep to allow your body to cool down
Avoid having big meals late at night – leave at least two hours between eating heavy or rich foods before going to sleep to avoid disruption due to heartburn or stomach trouble.
And similarly, don’t drink too much in the evening – this point is actually twofold. Firstly, avoid consuming too much of any liquid, as you don’t want to interrupt your sleep by needing the bathroom in the night. Secondly, while a nightcap might seem like a good idea to help you relax, alcohol consumption leads to poor quality sleep after you’ve nodded off.
Applying for Chrysalis placements can be a daunting experience: it’s just like applying for a job.
When studying with Chrysalis, you’re not alone – we can help you find the perfect placement, all you have to do is ask!
What We Can Do:
1) We can supply in depth information about the course so that the placement provider understands what you are studying and the requirements of the course. This means that you’re less likely to end up on a placement that’s not suitable due to miscommunication or misunderstanding on the part of the provider – we’ll make sure they know what you need from them!
2) If the placement provider requires further information to this, Chrysalis can arrange for a member of the Chrysalis team to contact the placement to talk through the requirements. If they’ve got questions, we can handle them for you so that you can be confident that the placement you undertake will definitely fit the requirements of the course, and you won’t waste your time.
3) Chrysalis are currently collating a list of placements, which get published on our website with information on how to apply. We’re also looking to launch a student space on the website, where ads will be published. Of course, you can find your own placement, but if you apply to any on our list, you’ll know you’re doing an appropriate course straight away (and negate the need for items 1 & 2 in this list – Bonus!).
4) For Autumn 2016 Chrysalis will produce a guide on finding a placement with all of the top tips to help you find your ideal placement provider. If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to finding your placement, you’ll be able to check out our handy guide for all the advice you’ll need.
Please remember that it is down to the student to find a placement. We can help out, but we can’t be there in your interview!
If you have any questions then please feel free to get in touch via email or phone, and one of our helpful team will give you all the advice you’ll need.
10% of children will experience a mental health problem, but it most cases, intervention comes much later than it should.
There are obvious speculations to be made about why this is – often children’s responses to mental health problems get dismissed as mere ‘naughtiness’ until the behavioural pattern becomes significant (or even dangerous) enough to warrant escalation by teachers or parents.
So What Are The Risk Factors?
Long term illness
Parents with a history of mental health problems, alcohol or substance abuse, or problems with the law
The death of someone close to them
Parents’ divorce or separation
Being a victim of bullying
Physical or sexual abuse
Living in poverty
Experiencing discrimination for their race, religion or sexuality
Being a carer, or having other adult responsibilities
Prolonged educational difficulties
This list is, of course, not exhaustive, and it is not to say that children who don’t experience these things don’t develop mental health problems.
What Are The Most Common Mental Health Problems in Children?
Children and young people can develop any of the same conditions that adults can, but there are some which have proved prevalent among children and young people. The following list contains some (though not all) of the most common, along with warning signs to look out for.
Depression – as with adults, children with depression may withdraw from social activities, or experience difficulty concentrating in school (sometimes resulting in a dip in grades)
Self-Harm – particularly common in teenagers, they may cut, scratch or burn themselves (often on the arms or legs)
Generalised Anxiety Disorder – children may become reluctant to do particular activities, have difficulty concentrating, or become more fidgety or agitated
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – usually a response to a traumatic event or experience, which can be anything from a death in the family to abuse
Eating Disorders – this can be purposely under-eating, over-eating, or purging. Look out for secrecy about food habits (either secret eating or hiding uneaten food), anxiety at meal times, or rapid weight loss or gain.
You may have noticed a few more butterflies on your TV screens than normal…
Our TV advert launched at the beginning of April, and has been playing regularly across a range of channels – from freeview to subscription – ever since.
Not seen it? Check it out below!
Our TV ad is just the start of our campaign to reach a much wider audience, to show people that they can make a change.
Chrysalis offers the opportunity to train on fully accredited courses to become a qualified counsellor or hypnotherapist around any current commitments, be they family or work related, meaning that anyone can make that career change.
Thousands of university students across the country are preparing for their exams. It’s, understandably, a very stressful time, but what can students do to help keep on top of their stress an anxiety?
Eat Well: A balanced diet keeps your body healthy, and is vital for you to perform at your best.
Get Enough Sleep: You need a full night’s sleep (about 8 hours) for your brain to function properly.
Learn to Recognise When You’re Stressed: If you can be aware of when your stress is starting to become a problem, you can take steps to control it before it gets out of hand.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others: Everyone is different – not only will everyone get different results, everyone studies differently as well. What other people are doing doesn’t matter. Focus instead on what’s best for you and doing your best.
Exercise: Not only does exercise provide a welcome break from studying, it produces chemicals that help combat stress and leave you feeling positive.
6. Take Regular Breaks: Your brain can only focus for so long in one go. Take regular short breaks every 40 minutes or so, with longer breaks every few hours. Scheduling time where it’s ok to check social media (i.e. in your short breaks) will also make you less likely to procrastinate – bonus!
7. Don’t Get Drawn In To Exam Post-Mortem: Worrying about what’s already happened won’t change it. Focus on moving forward – think about what’s coming next rather than dwelling on the past.
8. Lay off the Caffeine: Stimulants such as caffeine can increase your heart rate and contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety.
9.Take Steps to Overcome Problems: Instead of panicking about something you don’t understand, ask for help! If you’re having problems, ask a friend or tutor to go through the course material with you. People would far rather see you succeed – help is there if you only ask!
10. Talk to Someone!: If you’re feeling stressed and struggling to cope, please do talk to someone – a friend, family member, or a counsellor. Most universities have student support service, and are well-equipped and experienced at helping students cope with exam stress.
That last point is perhaps the most important – it’s okay (and indeed, it’s the smart thing to do) to ask for help if you need it.