Supporting Your Mental Health Through Diet and Sleep

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

Watch Dr. Chris Palmer as he explains the relationship between diet, sleep, and stress, how eating well translates to better overall mental health, and ways to better refine these habits to feel your best through COVID-19 and beyond.

Mental health is impacted by many outside factors, from what we put into our bodies to how much rest we take.

Self-care is more important now than ever to keep your immune system strong, your mental health in good condition, and your sleep cycles consistent. During a global health crisis, how can we ensure that we’re taking care of ourselves to keep us fully balanced?

Dr. Chris Palmer offers strategies to help us improve our overall mental health.

This content is also available in Spanish.

Audience Questions

Dr. Palmer also answers questions from participants:

  • A lot of folks are now working from home. They’re waking up in the morning, rolling out of bed, and they’re immediately in their office. They’re working all day and night. They’re trying to maintain the family. By the time it’s bedtime, it’s their first time to be alone, and they don’t want to go to sleep because they finally have some quiet and alone time. How can they stop doing this?
  • It’s really helpful to have someone guide or recommend resources for effective mindfulness techniques. Do you have any suggestions for people out there?
  • What about vitamins, probiotics, CBD, melatonin—all the different popular things out there for helping regulate sleep and mental health during this time. Any suggestions for people that are considering those options?
  • Is there an optimal interval between meals or snacks, as a general principle for everyone?
  • If you’re forcing yourself to go to bed earlier but it’s just not possible to fall asleep before, say, midnight, do you have any suggestions around trying to shift your sleep schedule? Also, do you have any suggestions around screen time before bed?
  • Any suggestions for parents trying to convince their children to be a little healthier, to exercise, to eat better? Also, any suggestions on screen time for children?

Diet and Mental Health

You may find these articles by Dr. Palmer helpful to learn more about connections between diet and mental health:

About Dr. Palmer

For over 20 years, Christopher M. Palmer, MD, has focused his clinical work on treatment-resistant cases, and recently he has been pioneering the use of the ketogenic diet in psychiatry, especially treatment-resistant cases of mood and psychotic disorders. He is currently the director of the Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education at McLean Hospital and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Learn more about Dr. Palmer.

More COVID-19 Resources

It’s important to think about ways to manage your mental health during these difficult times. McLean is committed to providing mental health and self-care resources for all who may need them. You and your family may find these strategies from McLean experts helpful to feel mentally balanced and safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

Learn more on our COVID-19 mental health resources page or get access to our COVID-19 Webinar Series.