Sleep makes up the foundation of our entire life. Many people believe that sleep is only for resting, but that’s a considerable understatement. Sleep’s implications go beyond resting: reparation, metabolic regulation, and more.
Our mental health is one of the best examples. Staying up a couple of hours studying or working might make us moody. If we don’t sleep all night, we’ll feel sleepy the entire day after.
However, that lack of sleep will start to add up. You’ll inevitably find yourself with chronic anxiety or depression.
Sleep is vital, so let’s learn how to fix it.
Sleep is our health’s foundation
Sleep is as critical as nutrition and breathing. As the Mental Health Foundation explains, sleeping lets us repair our muscles and process information.
While poor sleep won’t kill you instantly, it’ll affect almost every aspect of our lives: immune system, mental health, vitality, growth, and more. Fixing our sleeping habits is akin to changing our diet or starting a workout routine: it requires effort.
Sleep is the main support for countless crucial processes:
- Muscle repair.
- Metabolic regulation.
- Maintaining focus and motivation.
- Processing thoughts, emotions, and memories.
- Stabilizing our hormonal levels.
Sleep and mental health: A dynamic relationship
If sleep helps us on many fronts, sleep problems translate into countless complications. Sleep and mental health share a dynamic link, and one usually affects the other.
Simplified, mental health issues can disrupt your sleep, and sleep deprivation can damage your mental health. Poor sleep leads to anxiety and depression, but anxiety and depression usually lead to poor sleep as well.
Let’s dive into the holistic relationship between sleep and mental issues.
What could disrupt your sleep?
Sleep problems come in multiple shapes: noise, sleeping somewhere new, or not having a regular sleep schedule. However, most causes of sleep problems are related to your mental health.
For instance, stress, nightmares, psychosis, and anxiety are common sleep deprivation reasons. You might sleep more than eight hours because you don’t want to wake up due to depression, which will make you sleep later.
What does sleep deprivation do to your mental health?
Poor sleep results in a plethora of mental complications. For instance, poor sleep makes it harder to feel motivated throughout the day, which can scale to depression. You could feel anxious, psychotic, or lonely.
Additionally, not having enough energy keeps you from performing properly. You might feel isolated if you stop hanging out with friends because you’re too tired. It’s also easier to make mistakes during work or stop working out, resulting in guilt and other negative emotions.
Different mental disorders and sleep
Finally, different conditions affect your sleep in different ways. Below, you’ll find some of the most common sleep-related conditions.
- Anxiety and related conditions (paranoia, mania, and panic attacks) can make you stress a lot before bed. These problems make it harder to feel comfortable, which is crucial to fall asleep.
- Depression makes you sleep more, which can disrupt your sleep schedule. Insomnia is also a common depression symptom.
- PTSD can make you suffer night terrors and general dread at night, which could keep sleep at bay.
The holistic takeaway
Sleep and our mental health share a complicated relationship. Unfortunately, many people have issues on both ends. Fixing your sleep habits is challenging if you have mental conditions. Working on your mental health is challenging with poor sleep.
However, it means that sleep should be a priority. Conversely, improving your sleep usually translates into a better quality of life. Don’t hesitate to ask for professional help if you’re experiencing poor sleep. Many supplements can help you fix it.
In the end, we’d argue that sleeping well is the first step to repair other aspects of our lives. Make sure you’re getting your six-to-eight hours and everything will start improving.