The Connection Between Sleep and Mental Health

Most people know how crucial getting regular quality sleep is. Without this sleep, it would be challenging to keep up with daily responsibilities. Not everyone realizes how much of an impact good quality sleep has upon one’s mental health and overall well-being. Having too much or too little sleep can lead to a decrease in one’s mental state. Unfortunately, some mental disorders such as stress, anxiety, and depression make getting the right amount of quality sleep more difficult. This, in turn, can lead to a vicious cycle of not enough sleep and continuous drops in mental health. It is crucial to understand how sleep and mental health are connected and what practices you can do every day to help ensure you’re getting the best sleep possible.

Understanding How Mental Health Disorders Can Impact Sleep

#1.) Stress and Anxiety: If you struggle with high levels of stress or anxiety you may find it hard to fall asleep at night due to racing thoughts or constant worrying. Thoughts about finances, concerns about work, or personal worries may plague you when you lay in bed at night, causing you to toss and turn for a significant amount of time. In particular, people with anxiety disorders often experience trouble going to sleep or sleep disturbances. They may find themselves obsessing over different events that occurred that day or wondering if they should have handled certain situations differently. They may also worry excessively about the coming day and what challenges they may face. Because people with anxiety can have problems getting enough sleep, their condition can get even worse.

#2.) Depression: If you struggle with depression you may sleep too much. It may be difficult to get out of bed in the morning, and you may find yourself taking naps throughout the day or sleeping longer than you originally intended. Many people who suffer from depression look at sleep as an escape. If they struggle with dark or negative thoughts frequently throughout the day, they may look forward to the break they can escape through sleep. However, just as insufficient sleep can cause problems, getting too much sleep can also be an issue. When a person is spending too much time in bed regularly, their daily activity levels are likely to go down. When they’re not getting as much activity as they should, they face a heightened risk of obesity and other physical health problems.

Recognizing Some Other Factors That Could Play Into Sleep Quality

In addition to mental health disorders, some other factors could play a part in the amount and quality of sleep you’re getting. For example:

  • Physical conditions or being in recovery from surgery or some type of procedure
  • Having a child that does not yet sleep through the night
  • Being in an environment where you’re sleep is frequently interrupted
  • Having a career that requires you to be on-call during the late night or early morning hours
  • Having a sleep disorder like narcolepsy or insomnia
  • Being on a specific medication that affects your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Dealing with trauma
  • Experiencing frequent nightmares

Daily Habits to Promote Better Quality Sleep

If you are experiencing regular sleeping problems, one of the most important things you should do is speak with your doctor. In the case that you are struggling with an undiagnosed mental health disorder, they can help provide a diagnosis and can provide prescription medication if necessary. They may also recommend that you speak with a therapist as this can help you work through your emotions and learn better, more effective ways to deal with stress. In addition to traditional treatment, some other things you can do on a regular basis to help yourself experience better quality sleep include:

  • Stick to a Daily Routine: As much as possible, it is important to try to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Maintaining this schedule can help you maintain a more regimented sleep routine.
  • Take Care of your Physical Health: Poor physical health can cause one to experience poor quality sleep. Thus, it is important to take care of your physical health by eating nutritious, well-balanced meals every day and avoiding too much sugar.
  • Stay Active: Having a daily exercising routine can help you feel more tired when you go to bed each night and fall asleep quicker.
  • Avoid Screens Before Bed: The light from a cellphone or other electronic device can help activate parts of the brain, making it more difficult to fall asleep.

Not having enough sleep can take a major toll on our mental health. Getting good quality sleep each night is extremely important and can have a significant effect on our mental health. Unfortunately, some mental health conditions can actually make it more difficult to experience good quality sleep, creating a vicious cycle. For example, people who struggle with anxiety or high-stress levels may find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep at night due to racing thoughts and concerns about what the next day will hold. On the other hand, people who struggle with depression may find themselves sleeping too much to escape negative thoughts. In addition to traditional treatment, maintaining a daily routine and staying active can help promote better sleep. If you’re struggling with a mental health problem, our team at Achieve Concierge can help. Call (619) 393-5871 today to learn more.

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