The Single Biggest Factor Affecting YOUR Mood

“Are you okay Steven? I can sense something’s wrong.”

I love people who actually pay attention to those around them. They are the best kind of people.

She was right, I wasn’t my usual self. The problem with being energetic and positive all the time is when your mood slips even a little, people notice.

The truth is I had been working two jobs, waking up at 5:45am, working until midnight and doing it again the next day.

Even though everyone knows me as someone who is always happy, it was taking a toll on me and people were noticing.

I used to believe that the ultimate factors dictating my moods were the people and situations around me, now I think in a completely different way.

I like to put my focus towards the factors I can control, while focusing less on the factors that I have less control over.

If you have terrible coworkers, you might be stuck with them. If you have bad in-laws, you’re stuck. A dysfunctional family, good luck because you’re stuck. The weather will be shitty, someone will insult you, and a bird will shit on your head.

That’s life.

So what are the factors affecting your mood thatΒ you have control over?

Well, one of the main factors will be our focus for today.

Your Sleep.

It’s not any sort of revelation that sleep affects your mood. There are a ton of studies showing a very strong link between a lack of sleep and increased stress, irritability, anxiety, depression, increased risk of chronic diseases, learning/memory problems and many more disturbing symptoms.

Not only does a lack of sleep increase these symptoms, but it’s been proven that a lot of these symptoms can make it harder to get a good nights sleep. Now that’s a vicious cycle.

We don’t get enough sleep and the crap of the world affects us more, because the crap of the world affects us more, we have a harder time getting to sleep.

Rinse and repeat until you’re having a meltdown because someone cut in line and now you’reΒ that crazy person.

Once I experienced an involuntary ten minute nap between shifts, I knew that I had to fix things.

Here is what we need to do to get our sleep, and our moods, back on track.

See The Light.

Our light consumption throughout the day is one of the biggest factors that affects the quality of our sleep.

Hundreds of years ago when we had little artificial light and relied mostly on the sun, this was not a problem.

These days the sun could go out and no one would even notice. We’d light the skies with our tiny glowing screens. But the problem with these glowing screens is that they produce blue light which messes with your melatonin production.

Your melatonin production regulates your circadian rhythms and lets you body know it’s time to sleep. When you check Facebook right before bed, taking in that blue light, you suppress your melatonin and ruin your sleep before it even starts.

My rules for light consumption are as follows:

  • Lots of light in the morning
  • No electronics/screens 1 hour before bed
  • Have a low light lamp for before bed
  • Get blackout curtains

A good general rule to follow is when the sun is up, turn up the lights. When the sun goes down, turn them down. This will help your body develop and maintain a natural circadian rhythm.

Before Bed Foreplay.

You would never just jump into bed with a significant other without building up to it, so why do you just hop into bed and expect a good night sleep?

You need to develop and routine that leads up to your bed time so that your body knows it’s time to count the sheep and sleep away.

This routine should start at least 40 minutes before your bed time, and remember, no electronics.

You can read a little, meditate, have a sleepy time tea, take a shower, brush your teeth, whatever helps your body simmer down and get ready for the sandman. Just don’t drink alcohol too close to bed and don’t exercise too close to bed.

Another thing to include in your routine is the time you go to sleep and wake up. Scientists have found that if you can go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time at least 6 times a week, you’ll have easier and better quality sleep.

Build a routine, fiddle around with it, and catch those Z’s.

I just woke up from twelve hours of sleep, my body must have really needed that. I feel better than I have in the last week, but it will take a while to get things completely back on track.

There are so many unintended consequences when we don’t give our body the proper sleep it deserves.

It can start with irritability and stress, but over time it can shape our personality, ruin our relationships and take a sledgehammer to our health.

In real life you might have terrible coworkers and a dysfunctional family. Someone might insult you and a bird might shit on your head.

But in your sleep, in your dreams, that’s where it’s decided. That is where you find happiness.

29 thoughts on “The Single Biggest Factor Affecting YOUR Mood

  1. This is very useful and helpful information. Thank You. Getting adequate sleep has been an issue with me, and it really does become a vicious cycle.

    Having a routine before bedtime really makes sense. It is funny though, my wife and I did a bedtime routine for our children when they were little, and it works. Yet I don’t practice it myself.

    Thank you for sharing. Will be making some changes. πŸ™‚

    ~Carl~

    Like

    1. The first step to changing anything is to step back and see the pattern. Since you have done that I am confident that you will be able to making amazing progress in no time.

      It’s a great point that you brought up about having a routine for your children. When I was younger my parents had a routine for me and I loved it. We seem to naturally know that it is a good thing for our kids but fail to implement it for ourselves. Maybe we think we don’t “need” it as much.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and share your story. We appreciate it deeply, stop by any time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Definitely with you on no electronics before sleep time. Usually close shop early evening. Love a cup of tea and often just laying quietly with no noise just a bit of street lamp glow from outside. Nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Once you realize how beautiful it is to unplug before bed, you can’t go back. It calms you in such a way that you get to sleep easier, and the sleep itself is better quality.

      I like having a cup of tea before bed as well, it helps me to let go of anything that might have happened during the day.

      Thank you for commenting and sharing your perspective, we appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this, especially the part about no blue light for one hour before bed. I am going to try what you said and see what happens. I will report back. Thank you for stopping by my blog and for following. God bless us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Once you try it out please throw another comment up here. I would LOVE to hear how it has worked out for you.

      This is the same advice I’ve given to several people with great results so I’d love any feedback you have to offer. Thank you for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay, so I’m not following the routine as well as I should, truth be told, however, I did finally (why it took so long I don’t know) realize that the solar yard light my husband had put on the deck catty-corner to the sliding glass door of our bedroom was impeding my sleep! I have to have the room dark! My sleep now is much more restful and productive. I feel better. I will continue to try to establish a sleep routine and will check-in when I have followed that routine for a week or better. Thank you for this good information. Take care and God bless us.

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  4. I am in 100% agreement with this! I always tell people that one thing I don’t play with is my sleep. I HAVE to have at least 7 hours. If not i’m totally cranky until its time for bed again. Lol Some people can function off of 4 hours of sleep, but I am not one of those people.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You have the right attitude. If you don’t get proper sleep it will have you on tilt the entire day after. I think a lot of people who say they can function off of 4 hours don’t even realize the effects they are inflicting upon themselves.

      Once you get into the habit of getting good sleep you realize how much better it feels. Thanks for stopping by, we appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your content is great. I am six months old with my blog Random Life Chronicles and would like you to guest feature on My Blog with any random thoughts that are positive

        Like

    1. I think during this most recent upset in my sleep schedule I learned that I also have problems digesting food on minimal sleep. I never even imagined that would be a side effect, but hey, sleep affects everything in you from top to bottom.

      Thanks for sharing this, we appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post….I doubt there are many people that do not have a problem with sleep at one time or another. It’s great to get some information about it. Many times we are harming ourselves with the things we do and we don’t even know it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, I think that everyone deals with an inefficient sleep schedule at one point or another. I hope this article has armed you with some more tools to help keep your sleep, and your life, on point.

      Like

  6. When I had little ones, I was so careful with their sleep routine: snack and quiet time, bath, dim lights, cozy times with blanket and stories. We do need to do this for ourselves. Excellent reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So true! I can really relate to this article…my other half sleeps terribly and I am sure it is because he reads the news on his mobile before turning off the light! No electronics in bed people….build a routine. Thank you for the fantastic advice πŸ™‚

    Like

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