My hard earned experiences have taught me first hand that sleep, sex and exercise are critical to my mental health.  I would suggest that at least one of these is critical to your mental health as well.  In today’s blog, we’ll explore the benefits of each area and I’ll also offer practical tips to help you improve your mental well-being.  Plus I’ve thrown in two bonus tips as well 🙂

The Importance of Sleep for Mental Well-being

In case you didn’t realise, sleep, in particular quality sleep, is essential for good mental health. It’s during this sleep period that your body and mind finally have a chance to rest and recharge, and these are crucial for regulating emotions, processing information, and coping with stress. Lack of sleep has been linked to a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.  Despite this, we still struggle to prioritise quality sleep.

To improve the quality of your sleep, make sure you establish a regular sleep schedule, avoid uppers or stimulants like caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, and create a calming pre-sleep routine. If this feels like a bit much to start with, choose the one that’s easiest and build up from there.  You could also consider relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing, or even talk to your doctor about sleep aids if necessary.

How Sex Enhances Mental Health and Relationships

When I say ‘Sex’ I’m actually referring to a broader and more important critical component of your mental health – Intimacy.  Sex is the bit people often focus on but actually ‘intimacy’ which is key.  Intimacy, and in turn, sex, can release endorphins and other feel-good hormones that help reduce stress and boost mood. It can also improve our sense of connection with our partners, which can lead to improved emotional well-being and relationship satisfaction.

To enhance your sense of intimacy and indeed your sex life, prioritize intimacy with your partner, communicate openly about your needs and desires, and experiment with new activities to keep things fresh and exciting.  If nothing else, sex and intimacy can be alot of fun so go out there and get more into your diet!

The Mental Health Benefits of Regular Exercise

A key priority and yet often the first to be deprioritised, regular exercise is a super powerful way to improve mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, which are your body’s natural mood-boosters that can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Research has also shown links to improved cognitive function, better sleep, and a lower risk of depression and anxiety.  

If you want to score all the mental health benefits of exercise, target at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week. Choose an activity that you enjoy.  I’ve found the best forms of exercise are the ones where I don’t even realise I’m exercising.  It can even be so much fun that exercise isn’t even the main goal whether it’s dancing around the house, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, playing in the pool with the kids or taking the push bikes down to the park.

Creating a Routine That Works for You

Making changes in our lives needs to work for us as individuals if we want those changes to stick and become good habits.  Even though we all need sleep, intimacy, and exercise, the way we approach these areas may differ from person to person. What works for you, one person reading this article, may not work for another.

I didn’t realise until recently, how many people find it difficult to establish a consistent sleep schedule, while others may struggle with insomnia or other sleep disorders. Alternatively, some people can find it easy to maintain a regular exercise routine, while others really struggle to find the motivation or even the time to fit exercise into their busy lives.

The key is to experiment with different approaches and find out what works for you. As with any big change, start small and build up gradually. You’ll find that by making small changes like getting an extra 30 minutes of sleep each night, having a weekly date night with your partner, or taking a short walk during your lunch break can make a big difference in your mental well-being.

Remember to Laugh (esp at yourself) and Have Fun

Of course, while sleep, sex, and exercise are serious matters when it comes to our mental health, it’s super important that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. This is something i hold close to my heart and hope to do so until my final days.  Learning how to laugh at myself has given me a superpowered perspective on life that many don’t enjoy.  Knowing that I can enjoy silly moments, savour them and laugh at them again later, or just have a belly laugh on my own, is an enriching experience.  Someone smart once said that ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and I’m inclined to agree.  


Sleep, sex, and exercise may seem unrelated, but they form an essential trifecta for improving mental health. If you want to reduce stress, boost your mood and improve your overall well-being then start to prioritise these.  If you’re anything like me, and I’d say that’s a safe bet, then your mental health will become more resilient as you incorporate sleep, intimacy and regular exercise into your routine.  If you had to focus on one first before any of the others, then start with sleep and then build from there.

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