Have you ever had trouble falling asleep when you’re experiencing sadness, anger or overwhelmed? If you wake awake early after an awful night’s sleep, do your feelings only worsen? If you answered yes, you already know the link between sleep and mental well-being.
Mental health and sleep have a significant correlation. The health of your mind and your sleep depend on each other — when one doesn’t function well, the other is also affected. Lack of sleep can lead to or worsen mental health problems like depression and anxiety. Mental health problems can make it more challenging to attain sound sleep.
How Does Sleep Affect Mental Health?
Sleep impacts your mental well-being in a variety of different ways. The body, particularly the brain, needs rest for proper functioning. If we don’t get enough rest, the brain cannot function normally throughout the day. Fundamental cognitive processes, such as neural communication and memory consolidation, are triggered in sleep.
If we don’t get enough rest, it can be challenging to keep track of information, control our emotions, focus, and concentrate. In the long term, sleep deprivation can increase the risk of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Studies have found that between 50 and the 80% of patients suffering from psychiatric illness have chronic sleep issues, in contrast to 10%-18 percent of adults in the overall population.
Although more research is required to understand better the complicated connection that sleep has with mental well-being, it’s evident that both are inextricably linked. The evidence of this connection is evident in the way that sleep impacts many common mental health issues.
Sleep and specific mental Health Conditions
There are a variety of mental health issues that can be negatively affected due to sleep issues. Check out the top frequent illnesses and how sleep affects these conditions.
Depression is among the most prevalent mental health problems, afflicting over 17 million adults in the United States. Depression is a disorder of mood that affects mood and emotions. Many sufferers are subject to a constant sadness that doesn’t end. There are many different kinds of depression, such as postpartum depression (which occurs after birth) as well as persistent depression (PPD) or seasonal affective disorders (SAD ).
There isn’t one factor that causes depression. There are, however, several causes that could lead to it, including anxiety and hormone changes. These triggers can also affect sleep which has an inter-relationship with depression. Research shows that those who suffer from depression have a higher likelihood of experiencing insomnia. On the other hand, those who suffer from issues with sleep or disturbed sleep have a higher chance of developing depression. While getting enough sleep will not be able to cure depression, when it is combined with a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the symptoms.
Anxiety is a different mental health issue. It is a problem that affects more than 40 million people in the United States. While anxiety manifests in a variety of ways, it’s usually linked to feelings of nervousness as well as worry and anxiety. Although anxiety is uncommon, persistent or persistent anxieties are indicators of an illness. The most prevalent anxiety disorders are called generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder (social anxiety disorder), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD ).
Sleep and anxiety are linked when one suffers and the other suffers. This results in an unending cycle where individuals cannot sleep because of feelings of anxiety, and their anxiety can increase due to sleeping less. Additionally, researchers have discovered that anxiety conditions are usually associated with insomnia. Certain types of anxiety require medication to aid sufferers in sleeping better; however, lifestyle adjustments will help alleviate symptoms. Making sure you go to bed at the exact time every night and not checking your phone while you sleep, and staying away from drinking alcohol or caffeine before bed will help you get an improved night’s rest and less anxiety.
Grief is something that will affect many people during their lifetime. Grief can result from various circumstances, such as the death of a loved one, separation, job loss, medical issues, miscarriage, the loss of a house, and many more. Grief can trigger physical and mental signs such as extreme sadness, the inability to concentrate on anything else beyond the pain, the feeling of numbness, suicidal thoughts and the loss of weight, body aches and others.
The grief of a loved one can have a slight or profound impact on the quality of sleep. Studies have found that the more severe the grieving is, the more likely a person will suffer from sleep loss. It is believed that the Mayo Clinic refers to complicated grief as one that lasts for a long time and interferes with a person’s ability to carry on with their daily lives. One study revealed that complicated grief is associated with shorter sleep and a lower quality of. While grief must run its course, there are ways to get better sleep while grieving, including taking time to take a break throughout each day emotionally. Other options include keeping a sleeping journal, taking a deep breath and seeking support from others.
It’s a common human emotion that everyone can experience at some time. But, if loneliness becomes constant and the feeling worsens, it’s known as chronic loneliness. The most apparent signs of loneliness are being isolated, having excessive time spent on social media, body pains, confusion/memory issues and fatigue.
Quality. It’s not just that loneliness tends to make sufferers tired; it’s also linked to a lower level of sleep. Furthermore, because human beings are social creatures, loneliness can increase cortisol, a stress hormone that can make it difficult to fall asleep. It is also linked to an increase in weight and increased risk of using drugs and sleep disturbances. Experts say that the most effective approach to overcome loneliness is to connect with others, be it friends, family members or a support network.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
SAD is a form of seasonal affective disorder. (SAD) can be described as a form of depression related to the changing seasons. It’s relatively widespread, with around 10 million US people suffering yearly. The symptoms of SAD typically occur at the final stages of autumn or the beginning of winter, as the days become shorter. SAD sufferers usually suffer from a decline in energy levels and an overall decrease in their mood. Patients with SAD feel down, irritable, and unmotivated in the winter months.
Although depression is directly linked to poor sleep, people suffering from SAD are also affected by other issues. SAD is related to the amount of sun exposure a person receives and the amount of sunlight that signals to the body that it’s time to get up and sleep. SAD sufferers are more susceptible to changes in the sun and cannot sleep well when there is a lack of sunlight. Several methods by which SAD can be treated, such as lighting therapy lamps for sunlight, behavioral therapy, and medications.
The condition known as post-traumatic stress (PTSD) is an illness of mental health resulting from a painful event. It can be triggered by many frightening events and affect those who witness and those who are affected by it. Common signs of PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks, and inability to perform everyday tasks. Avoidance of places and people that bring back memories of the incident, mood swings, and increased anxiety and anxiety are common symptoms, as per The Mayo Clinic.
The effects of PTSD can have adverse effects on sleep. As per the National Center for PTSD, between 71 percent and 96% of patients who have PTSD suffer from nightmares due to their trauma. Problems falling asleep and staying awake are prevalent for people living with PTSD. Additionally, people who have PTSD tend to resort to alcohol and drugs to manage their stress with stress, and these substances can affect sleep. Therapy is required to ease the symptoms associated with PTSD and help them get their sleeping patterns back to normal.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most frequent neurodevelopmental disorders among children, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). While it’s less prevalent, ADHD is also seen by adults and can manifest as feelings of anxiety, irritability at work, and tension in social interactions. Children who have ADHD have problems controlling impulses, difficulties staying focused, as well as the inability to stay still.
Children who have ADHD are at a greater risk for developing insomnia as well as other sleep issues. The experts believe these kids have trouble sleeping since their minds are engaged, even at night. However, for these kids do not get enough sleep and aren’t getting enough sleep, their ADHD symptoms become worse. Parents of children who have ADHD should bring their children for a visit to a doctor who can prescribe medications, therapy, or lifestyle modifications.
Bipolar disorder, earlier referred to as manic depression, is a mental illness that is characterized by highly exuberant moods (mania) and extremely depressed moods (depression). As per the Mayo Clinic, Manic periods are defined as feelings of happiness, excessive energy and irritability, as well as depressive episodes characterized by feelings of despair and sadness. They can be sporadic or happen several times in the year.
Bipolar disorder can impact sleep in many ways. It may cause sleepiness and hypersomnia (oversleeping), disturbed REM sleep patterns, shifts in the sleep-wake cycle, and much more. Most of those with bipolar disorder experience less need to sleep during manic episodes and a greater need to sleep during depression-related episodes. The treatment options for bipolar disorder comprise meditation and medication.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) was previously considered an anxiety-related disorder, but it’s now considered an individual disorder. It affects around 2 million people across the United States each year. Based on the Cleveland Clinic, people with OCD “have constant and disturbing thoughts of fears, images or thoughts (called obsessions) that they cannot manage. These thoughts’ anxiety can lead to an overwhelming desire to follow certain routines or rituals (called”compulsions).” While those with OCD differ between individuals and are not always the same, common concerns include the fear of getting sick or the death of a family member or being injured or hurt, anxiety about social situations, and fear of disorder or inconsistency.
People who suffer from OCD sufferers perform “rituals” to overcome their anxiety. They perform rituals like hand washing and counting, weighing items, eating meals in a particular order, repeating certain words or phrases, accumulating or hoarding things and much more. People with OCD may struggle to sleep if they’ve failed to complete their rituals or be compelled to get up during the night to complete some rituals. A study showed that those who suffer from OCD suffer from poorer sleep than the average population. The most common treatment options to treat OCD consist of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), medication, and outpatient programs.
Schizophrenia is a high mental health disorder where people cannot perceive reality normally. It is an uncommon disorder that affects just one percent of people worldwide. People with schizophrenia often suffer from delusions, hallucinations and distorted thinking patterns. The symptoms of schizophrenia usually manifest in men in their 20s early in life and women in their 20s and 30s. People with schizophrenia typically require ongoing treatment, which may include medications, being with a guardian or caregiver, and regular therapy.
Patients with schizophrenia tend to experience issues with sleep. A study revealed that most patients with schizophrenia report having sleep issues. In the wake of these sleep issues that are reported, insomnia is the most prevalent. Other sleep disorders commonly associated with schizophrenia are obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
How to improve both sleeps as well as Mental Health
Because sleep and health are so closely linked so it’s no surprise that the same techniques can benefit both, look over a few methods that help improve your mental health and sleep quality.
Therapy is a popular treatment for sleep disorders and mental health issues. CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), is explicitly proven to aid those who have insomnia, OCD and anxiety and PTSD, to mention several others. CBT is a therapy that concentrates on changing your habits and patterns. Regarding your sleeping habits, CBT can help you get a better night’s sleep and help you overcome racing thoughts that hinder sleep.
CBT is by far the most popular method of therapy used to treat sleep disorders. CBT can be divided into three phases: identifying fear or anxiety, overcoming it, and replacing negative thinking patterns and behavior with positive ones. One type of cognitive behavioral therapy is setting a routine for sleeping and sticking to the same routine each evening.
Meditation can be a great help for people suffering from mental health issues and sleep problems. It is a long-standing method designed to calm the mind to attain increased awareness. Research has proven that meditation can calm the mind and aid in achieving a good night’s sleep. Meditation has been found to reduce insomnia since it can help promote a more relaxed state.
To meditate, Follow these easy steps:
- Find a peaceful and comfortable spot to relax.
- Set the timer. Twenty minutes is ideal, but you can begin at 5 minutes or even 10 minutes.
- Be aware of your posture and sense that you are at ease.
- Keep your attention on your breath and only that. Make sure you don’t let your thoughts wander off into the future or past -keep focusing on the present now.
- If your thoughts wander, gently remind yourself to concentrate on your breathing and present.
- After you’ve finished, you can take a moment to reflect on how you’re feeling physically and mentally.
Practice Emotional Wellness
According to the National Institutes of Health, emotional health is the capacity to effectively manage stressors, changes, and ups. The state of emotional wellness is linked to various positive health outcomes, such as the ability to sleep well.
There are various methods to measure your emotional well-being, per the University of New Hampshire. If you identify with the following, you’re probably mentally healthy.
- I felt content all time.
- The ability to communicate yourself and your feelings to other people.
- We are feeling good about ourselves.
- It is being capable of saying”no” and not feeling guilty.
- You can unwind whenever you need to.
Although emotional well-being appears to be a natural quality, there are some ways to enhance it. Reducing stress, getting enough sleep, learning effective strategies for coping, and staying mindful of your social bonds are all methods to enhance your emotional well-being.