Does Sleep Affect Mental Health?

Have you felt irritated and angry when you did not get enough sleep? Do you feel refreshed after sleeping properly after days of not sleeping? Many people assume that loss of sleep only makes you angry or bothered but it runs deeper than that. Sleep helps recharge the brain for the upcoming emotional and intellectual challenges and it helps reset your brain to function properly. Lack of sleep is linked to a number of unfavorable health consequences including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression. Some psychiatric conditions can cause sleep problems, and sleep disturbances can also intensify the symptoms of many mental conditions including depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Shortage of sleep can cause mental health issues and worsen existing mental health problems so it is important to keep a healthy pattern of sleep with a minimum of 6 hours of sleep per day for proper functioning. Many people believe that they can catch up on lost sleep on the weekends or holidays but that is not true, you need to complete 6 hours per day itself and sleeping 10-12 hours together at weekends can cause fatigue and laziness as well as depression. Sometimes poor sleep can cause you to stress about tiny details and incidents causing you to overthink and create more stress which may not be needed. Daily hassles can turn into major sources of frustration. You might find yourself feeling frazzled, short-tempered, and frustrated by everyday annoyances. Poor sleep itself can even turn into a source of stress. You might know that you need to get a good night's sleep, but then find yourself worrying that you won't be able to fall or stay asleep each night. Like many other mental conditions, anxiety and sleep have a vicious cycle that repeats; people with anxiety have difficulty falling asleep at times but people who do not get proper sleep can get anxiety. Those who struggle with sleep problems may be more likely to develop an anxiety condition, particularly if their sleep problems are prolonged and left untreated.

There are many ways to get proper sleep but they require a lifestyle change that is healthier and more efficient for you. Avoiding sleep interrupters (such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol) and practicing good sleep habits are examples of lifestyle changes you can make that can help. Some practices that you can follow are limit napping during the day as it causes an inability to fall asleep in the night; another practice you can follow is setting a nightly routine such as reading or taking a shower before sleeping that can relax you. One important factor that disrupts sleep is technology such as phones or laptops; these can create a desire to keep using them which can cause you to lose sleep and spend hours using them. Try not using your devices at least 30-40 minutes before you sleep. Last but not least is avoiding things with caffeine or soda that can cause you to lose sleep. If you need to drink something, you can always have milk or juice or tea; these drinks are healthy and help you sleep too. If you are not able to sleep no matter what you try, it is always a good idea to consult a professional.

Sources -

17 views1 comment