How Can Sleep Improve Your Mental Health?
Whenever we get sick and go to a doctor’s, they ask us common questions; “how have you been eating and sleeping?” These questions are relevant and significant in any disease and disorder. Especially when discussing mental disorders, it is crucially related to our sleep routine. Take it from Positive Reset Mental Health Clinic!
Sleep and mental health
Most people are personally aware of how sleep affects their mood. The expression “woke up on the wrong side of the bed” refers to someone unhappy.
There’s quite a bit of truth in this idiom. Sleep has been shown to have links to conditions like;
Bipolar disorder and other conditions
These conditions are closely related to mental and emotional health.
Although more research is needed to understand the connections between sleep and mental health fully, what is known suggests a mutually beneficial relationship. Getting a good night’s sleep is typically more difficult when you have mental health issues. In addition, having a hard time sleeping, including insomnia, can cause mental health issues to start or worsen.
Although many complex factors affect both sleep and mental health, there is reason to believe that improving sleep can positively affect both and may even be a part of treating many psychiatric disorders, given their close association.
Relation between sleep and health
The brain’s activity rises and falls throughout the various sleep phases that make up the sleep cycle. There are brief bursts of energy during NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep, but overall brain activity slows down. Since brain activity increases quickly during REM sleep, this stage is linked to dreaming, which is more vivid.
Each stage contributes to brain health by allowing activity in various parts of the brain to ramp up or down and promoting better memory, learning, and thought processes. According to research, the brain’s activity while you sleep significantly impacts your emotional and mental health.
The brain’s ability to process emotional information is facilitated by getting enough sleep, especially REM sleep. A lack of sleep is especially detrimental to the consolidation of positive emotional content because sleep is when the brain analyzes and remembers thoughts and memories.
Even though more investigation is required to pinpoint the various links between sleep and mental health, the available data show a complex relationship that a variety of variables in the case of any given individual can impact.
Sleep disturbance and mental health
Sleep disorders and severe physiological disturbances can occur when the circadian rhythm is thrown off. Cognitive impairments, such as;
Decline in long-term memory
Learning and attention skills
These include irregular waking hours, longer periods of sleep, and incontinence, all of which are frequently associated with psychiatric disorders.
Given that people who suffer from psychiatric disorders frequently report having trouble sleeping, it is difficult to ignore the correlation between mood and sleep. For instance, insomnia affects 50 to 80 percent of autistic people on average.
Sleep and mental disorders
More than 300 million people, according to estimation, have depression, a form of mood disorder characterized by despair or hopelessness. Insomnia symptoms are present in about 75% of depressed people, and many depressed people also experience excessive daytime sleepiness and hypersomnia or sleeping too much.
In the past, sleep issues were thought to result from depression, but mounting research indicates that insomnia may cause or exacerbate depression. It is thought that sleep issues and depressive symptoms have a bidirectional relationship that reinforces one another, which is reflected in difficulty in establishing a clear cause and effect.
Anxiety Related Disorders
Sleep issues are strongly correlated with anxiety disorders. The racing mind that results from worry and fear is known as hyperarousal, which is thought to be a major factor in insomnia. It may become more difficult to fall asleep due to anticipatory anxiety brought on by sleep issues.
PTSD and sleep have a particularly close connection, according to research. People with PTSD frequently replay traumatic events in their minds, experience nightmares, and feel alert, all of which can disrupt sleep. Veterans are particularly susceptible to PTSD, and at least 90% of U. S. Veterans with recent wars’ combat-related PTSD often experience insomnia. As such, trauma therapy may help.
Depending on their emotional state, people with bipolar disorder experience significant changes in their sleep patterns. They typically feel less sleepy when manic, but they might sleep more than usual when depressed. When a person is in between episodes, sleep disturbances frequently persist.
According to research, many individuals with bipolar disorder notice changes in their sleep patterns before the start of an episode.
Improving sleep and mental health
Both sleep disturbances and mental health issues can be impacted by sleep deprivation. Because of this complex relationship, there is a strong connection between sleep and mental health and the two conditions can be treated concurrently. Even a preventative mental health strategy might include measures to enhance sleep.
The ideal course of action for issues with mental health and sleep varies depending on the individual’s circumstances. Receiving proper care is crucial because these conditions can significantly affect the quality of life. This calls for working with a qualified health professional.
The potential advantages and disadvantages of various treatments, including prescription drugs, can be discussed with a physician or psychiatrist. They can offer individualized care, even with several co-occurring physical or mental health problems. For instance, an underlying condition like obstructive sleep apnea may benefit mental health if identified and treated. The approaches that might be considered to aid in sleep and mental health depend on the client and the therapist.
There is a deeply rooted relationship between sleep and mental health. Substantial evidence points out that mental disorders are more prevalent in clients with sleep issues. Hence, it is crucial to stick to a healthy sleep routine. Contact us for help doing so today!