Wednesday, May 11, 2022
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Does Sleep Deprivation Cause Anxiety

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A Magnesium Deficiency Can Lead To Insomnia But It Can Also Cause Anxiety And Depression

It has been estimated that around two thirds of the population are magnesium deficient. Are you one of them?

In an article entitled ‘Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment’ published in Medical Hypothesis 2006 it concludes with

It is likely that magnesium deficiency causes most major depression and related mental health illnesses, IQ loss and addictions. We suggest that magnesium deficiency as cause of these disorders is enormously important to public health and is recommended for immediate, wide-spread further study. The public should be advised to obtain more than 600 mg of dietary magnesium a day…”

Read this blog if you want to know if you’re magnesium deficient. If you are then this is the best magnesium supplement I can recommend to you.

How Being Sleep Deprived Alters A Brain Connection That Causes Fear And Anxiety

Scientific Advisory BoardNick Hobson, PhD

Your co-worker sluggishly walks into the office and tells you they were up all night working on their client pitch. Do you marvel at their dedication and commitment, or do you shrug it off and think, “Yeah, I’ve had plenty of those nights“?

Odds are, your response would be the latter. After all, sleep is for the weak.

It is not uncommon for us to push our bodies to an unhealthy point in hopes of reaching our goals, whether it’s being a good parent and taking care of your newborn, or pulling an all-nighter to cram for the bar exam.

Being sleep deprived has become such a norm in today’s society that we often brush it off as an unavoidable part of our lives. Studies show that 31 percent of the Canadian and American population is sleep deprived. In fact the World Health Organization has claimed we are in the midst of a catastrophic sleep-loss epidemic.

Now perhaps you may be thinking, I’ve gotten through many nights with little sleep and managed to surviveWhat’s all this fuss about “sleep deprivation?”Well, although you may have physically ended the day in one piece , unbeknownst to you, your brain took a much bigger hit.

Sleep Habits Can Affect Levels Of Stress And Anxiety In Children And Teens

There are a number of factors that can affect stress and anxiety in children and teens; however, sleep – or lack thereof – plays a major factor in how children and teens react to stress. It’s clear that sleep deprivation can exacerbate anxiety symptoms; on the other hand, sleep disorders may actually cause anxiety, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America .

Does your child snore? It could be sleep apnea. While not all people who snore suffer from sleep apnea, it’s worth looking into if snoring is an issue with your child or teen. According to Steven Y. Park, MD, sleep apnea causes increased levels of carbon dioxide in the body, which, in turn, increases acid levels in the amygdala and “triggers fear and panic attacks.� Why does this occur? Because the amygdala area of the brain is where fear and behavior are processed.

Most likely, your child is not suffering from sleep apnea but rather creating a sleep debt that accumulates over time. Unfortunately, lack of sleep causes a number of physical and emotional problems that can trigger anxiety attacks as well as exacerbate existing problems in children and teens.

How do sleep habits affect stress and anxiety levels? Plenty. Furthermore, because sleep deprivation is often cumulative, the effects can intensify. It pays to become well-educated on the causes and cures of sleep deprivation. Here are five ways that sleep habits can affect child anxiety.

Sleep Deprivation Leads to Poor Decision Making

Herbs Have A Real Role In Treating Anxiety Depression And Sleep Disorders

Herbs have a real role in treating sleep disorders as well as anxiety and depression. I must emphasise this because for a lot of people herbs are not even considered as an option. However, I have met a director of a pharmaceutical company who invited me to give a talk in Copenhagen because he had seen the studies which showed St John’s Wort to be as effective as, or more than, the commonly prescribed antidepressant, Citalopram.  Added to that, clinical trials have found that adaptogens have a role in reducing general anxiety, alleviating mild to moderate depression and reducing the effects of stress.

In Mensa Corpore Sane Health Body Healthy Mind And Good Sleep

Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Anxiety Depression

I have treated so many people who were depressed, anxious or even paranoid because they were not well nourished and well rested. If you are robust and well you can often view your circumstances in a totally different way. Your perspective changes. Insurmountable challenges suddenly become manageable, and often the way forward is seen more clearly.  I have seen people go from debilitating anxiety to having a new lease for life in just days. I have also seen and personally experienced, insomnia being “cured” in just a matter of days. The way you feel today is not set in stone. Life can change for the better very quickly.

Sleep – and especially good quality sleep – is not an option or a lifestyle choice.  According to our genes and according to our nightly brain detox we have a definite biological NEED for sleep.

But what about the problems that can lead to insomnia in the first place? Can they contribute to anxiety and depression too?

In my opinion the answer is a definite “YES”.

Tired And Edgy Sleep Deprivation Boosts Anticipatory Anxiety

University of California – Berkeley
Researchers have found that a lack of sleep, which is common in anxiety disorders, may play a key role in ramping up the brain regions that contribute to excessive worrying. The results suggest that people suffering from such maladies as generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder, may benefit substantially from sleep therapy.

UC Berkeley researchers have found that a lack of sleep, which is common in anxiety disorders, may play a key role in ramping up the brain regions that contribute to excessive worrying.

Neuroscientists have found that sleep deprivation amplifies anticipatory anxiety by firing up the brain’s amygdala and insular cortex, regions associated with emotional processing. The resulting pattern mimics the abnormal neural activity seen in anxiety disorders. Furthermore, their research suggests that innate worriers — those who are naturally more anxious and therefore more likely to develop a full-blown anxiety disorder — are acutely vulnerable to the impact of insufficient sleep.

“These findings help us realize that those people who are anxious by nature are the same people who will suffer the greatest harm from sleep deprivation,” said Matthew Walker, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC Berkeley and senior author of the paper, published June 26 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Lack Of Sleep Looks The Same As Severe Anxiety In The Brain

Chronic sleep deprivation could make some people more likely to develop an anxiety disorder.

If you’ve ever found that a poor night’s sleep has left you feeling not only a bit groggy, but also on edge, you aren’t alone. People with insomnia have double the risk of developing an anxiety disorder, and 70 to 80 percent of people with clinical anxiety have trouble either falling or staying asleep. However, until now, how this relationship works in the brain was unknown.

New research presented at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego last month revealed that missing just one night of sleep results in a pattern of brain activity that looks a lot like anxiety.

“Sleep loss triggers the same brain mechanisms that make us sensitive to anxiety to begin with—regions that support emotional processing and also regions that support emotion regulation,” says Eti Ben-Simon, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley. “If we are chronically sleep deprived, if we keep losing sleep, it could sensitize us to greater anxiety levels and help develop an anxiety disorder.”

The good news is that after the participants got a full night of sleep, their anxiety levels went back to normal. But it wasn’t only the quantity of sleep that mattered, it was also the quality.

So, remember to always make sleep a priority, because it’s far more beneficial in the long run than anything “productive” you do at 3am.

Worried About How Sleep Problems Are Affecting Your Health

Sleep does so much more than keep our mind sharp. Long-term sleep deprivation can negatively affect your emotional state and physical health. Sleep Health Solutions of Ohio can help identify your sleep problems and find solutions to get the rest that your body needs.

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Dr. Rosenberg is specialized in sleep medicine and neurology. He is also certified by the American Board of Sleep Disorders Medicine and the American Board of Psychology and Neurology. Patients with a wide range of issues are referred for sleep studies and he works together with them to find effective solutions that fit their lifestyle.

Treatments And Remedies For Anxiety And Sleep Deprivation

If you’re struggling with anxiety, there are many ways to reach out and receive help. Going to a medical professional will result in positive solutions. These remedies are designed to help short term, not treat long-term symptoms. Because we have sleep specialists at the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute, we’ll mostly be coming at it from that angle. 

Here are a few remedies for symptom relief: 

  • Breathing exercises for anxiety
  • Find hobbies that you enjoy 
  • Exercise regularly 

So What Does Sleep Or The Lack Of It Have To Do With It

Just like many of the reasons listed above, losing sleep or having a sleep disorder can either cause or make the condition worse. In fact, nearly all psychiatric disorders are linked to some sort of sleep issue.

The Harvard Health Newsletter points out that sleep disorders were traditionally considered symptoms of a condition.  However, recent studies have concluded that these sleep issues “may raise the risk for, and even directly contribute to, the development of some psychiatric disorders.” This is evident across both sleep health and mental health studies.

“Sleep disturbances-(particularly insomnia – are highly prevalent in anxiety disorders and complaints such as insomnia or nightmares have even been incorporated in some anxiety disorder definitions, such as generalized anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder,” Staner said.

Harvard Health agrees with this describes but they go further by describing the neurological connection between the two: 


“Sleep disruption — which affects levels of neurotransmitters and stress hormones, among other things — wreaks havoc in the brain, impairing thinking and emotional regulation. In this way, insomnia may amplify the effects of psychiatric disorders and vice versa.”

A Lack Of Sleep Causes Anxiety But Dont Worry About It

How did you sleep last night? If the answer is “badly” followed by an uninvited pang of anxiety, look no further for an explanation than a study published this month in Nature Human Behaviour.

A lack of sleep is known to lead to feelings of anxiety, even among healthy people. But the new paper reveals that the amount of “deep” or slow-wave sleep is most pertinent to this relationship. That, the authors conclude, is because slow-wave brain oscillations offer an “ameliorating, anxiolytic benefit” on brain networks associated with emotional regulation.

To investigate this link, Eti Ben Simon and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, ran a series of experiments. First, the team recruited 18 students to come into the lab: once for a full night of shut eye, and again for a night of no sleep. In the evening and the following morning, participants filled in a questionnaire to measure their anxiety levels. And in the morning they also viewed emotionally-charged, aversive videos while the researchers looked at brain activity using functional MRI.

In contrast to a night of sleep, after the all-nighter scans revealed reduced activity in the medial prefrontal cortex , typically responsible for emotional regulation, whereas deeper emotional centres of the limbic system, such as the amygdala, appeared hyperactive. That is akin to the brain pressing “heavy on the emotional accelerator pedal, without enough brake”, suggests senior author Matthew Walker.

What Are The Psychological Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

Humans need sleep to function. It’s how we recover, process information, and regain energy to make it through the day. 

To keep us at our best, it’s recommended that we have at least 8 hours of sleep a night. If you go without it, your body is sleep-deprived and will lack the energy it needs. 

The longer you go without sleep, the worse you’ll feel. This isn’t just physical either, there are also many psychological effects of sleep deprivation that you need to know about. Luckily, we’re about to cover them all in this guide. 

What’s The Link Between Sleep Disorders And Depression

Can sleep deprivation cause anxiety?

An inability to sleep is one of the key signs of clinical depression. Another sign of clinical depression is sleeping too much or .

Having a sleep disorder does not in itself cause depression, but lack of sleep does play a role. Lack of sleep caused by another medical condition, a sleep disorder, or personal problems can make depression worse. An inability to sleep that lasts over a long period of time is also an important clue that someone may be depressed.

The Biggest Danger Of Sleepiness: Slowed Reaction Time

Sleepiness makes your reaction time slower, a special problem when driving or doing work or other tasks that require a quick response. You don’t need to fall asleep at the wheel to be a danger — drowsiness alone can be as dangerous as driving drunk. Driving while sleepy is like driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% — over the legal limit in many states. And drinking and drowsiness are double trouble when driving because sleep deprivation magnifies the affects of alcohol.

The people at highest risk for fatigue-related auto accidents are teenagers and young adults, especially men. Shift workers who work at night or work long or irregular hours and people with untreated sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy are also at high risk.

A slowed reaction time can endanger lives in other ways. In a 2009 study done with cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, researchers from the University of Texas in Austin found that sleep deprivation hampered information-integration. This is a function of the mind that relies heavily on split-second, gut-feeling decisions. The researchers noted that this could be a particular concern for firefighters, police officers, soldiers, and others who are often sleep deprived on the job.

The Link Between Sleep Deprivation And Brain Pathways

Research on sleep — or rather, lack of sleep — has revealed there are major side effects when you don’t get enough of it. This includes, among many other deleterious outcomes, increased negative emotionality and an inability to distinguish between threatening and non-threatening stimuli.

This failed detection is often regarded as the basis for many anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder . In these cases, a neuro-related hyperarousal and amplified negativity bias leads to a distorted perception of ambiguous stimuli that get perceived as threatening. Resolving this bias is crucial for managing our anxiety.

In other words, a sleepy brain is particularly susceptible to negative emotion states and heightened anxiety.

This poses the question: How can a few lost hours of sleep have such a drastic effect on our brains and emotional functioning? To answer this, a team of neuroscientists at the Southwest University — led by Dr. Pan Feng — investigated the relationship between sleep and fear consolidation. They hypothesized that sleep deprivation is linked to increased sensitization of a particular brain region, the amygdala, which leads to increased reactivity towards negatively perceived stimuli and generates an amplified fear response.

These two connections led the team to make two related predictions: Sleep deprivation would be associated with decreased amygdala-vmPFC connectivity; and increased amygdala-insula connectivity.

Sleep Deprivation Makes You More Emotionally Reactive

Sleep deprivation alters the connections between your prefrontal cortex and the brain’s reward- and emotion-processing centers. In simple terms, this means that you become hypersensitive to stimuli and have greater emotional responses. 

This means that you’re much more likely to react strongly to everyday situations. It’s what causes mood swings and irrational behaviour, like starting fights, shouting, or crying at certain events. It’s just negative emotions that are affected either, it’s every single emotion. 

It’s as if someone switched all your emotions up to a higher intensity and rapidly switched between them all. Every little thing can stimulate an intense and irrational emotional response. 

Sleep Isnt A Lifestyle Choice Its A Biological Must

A group of researchers have recently been awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering that our body clock, our circadian rhythm, is encoded in our very genes. We are hardwired for sleep! So it puzzles me that some people see sleep as a waste of precious time; this is a risky belief .

As a former Nobel prize winner, Sir Paul Nurse, said: “Every living organism on this planet responds to the Sun. We on this planet are slaves to the Sun. The circadian clock is embedded in our mechanisms of working, our metabolism, it’s embedded everywhere. It’s a real core feature for understanding life.”

We cannot step outside of our circadian rhythm, as set by the sun, and not feel the consequences.

What Other Sleep Disorders Are Linked To Depression

Narcolepsy is another sleep disorder that has been linked to depression. Narcolepsy causes disturbances in your sleep-wake cycle. You tend to get very sleepy at times during the day and frequently wake up at night.

People with narcolepsy often also have depression, research shows. And sometimes, narcolepsy is misdiagnosed as depression. Lack of sleep can lead to symptoms, like lack of energy or motivation, that mimic those of depression. 

Other conditions that interrupt your sleep, including sleep apnea and sleep movement disorders, can also contribute to depression.

Connecting Anxiety Depression And Sleep Deprivation

This year, at the annual meeting for the Society for Neuroscienceresearchers found that in healthy adults, sleep deprivation can worsen symptomsof anxiety. These conditions can form a dangerous perpetual cycle. Researcher atthe Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston,Cliff Saper described this relationship as a “two-way interaction the sleeploss makes the anxiety worse, which in turn makes it harder to sleep.”

A study presented at the conference this year observedanxiety levels in 18 healthy people following a night of good rest or stayingawake. They had each of the participants take anxiety tests the next morning.Their findings showed that the people whose anxiety levels were 30 percenthigher were those who were sleep deprived.

Various studies have also showed a correlation between people with depression and anxiety as well. The chances of getting depression is significantly higher when an anxiety disorder exists. In fact, about half of people with severe depression also have anxiety. This shows that these two mental illnesses can become more prevalent when a person isn’t getting the quality of rest that they need.

What Is The Relationship Between Anxiety And Sleep

Serious sleep disturbances, including insomnia, have long been recognized as a common symptom of anxiety disorders. People who are plagued with worry often ruminate about their concerns in bed, and this anxiety at night can keep them from falling asleep.

In fact, a state of mental hyperarousal, frequently marked by worry, has been identified as a key factor behind insomnia. People with anxiety disorders are inclined to have higher sleep reactivity, which means they are much more likely to have sleeping problems when facing stress.

Sleeping difficulties have been found for people with various types of anxiety including generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, and PTSD. In several studies, over 90% of people with PTSD associated with military combat have reported symptoms of insomnia.

Distress about falling asleep can itself complicate matters, creating a sleep anxiety that reinforces a person’s sense of dread and preoccupation. These negative thoughts about going to bed, a type of anticipatory anxiety, can create challenges to healthy sleep schedules and routines.

Related Reading

At the same time, strong evidence indicates that sleeping problems are not only a symptom of anxiety. Instead, sleep deprivation can instigate or worsen anxiety disorders. Researchers have found that people who are prone to anxiety are especially sensitive to the effects of insufficient sleep, which can provoke symptoms of anxiety.

The Complex Relationship Between Sleep And Anxiety

Sleep Deprivation

Guest Author for

One-third of our lives are spent sleeping, but over time, sleep has become unappreciated. In the world’s current pace, everybody is consumed in using their 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Sleep has become such an interference in our daily activities that we often forget its benefits and the implications of its loss.

There are two main phases in sleep – rapid eye movement sleep and non-rapid eye movement sleep . NREM is further divided into four stages. Different stages of NREM are characterized differently.

Stage 1 NREM is a shallow state as it is the transition from wake to sleep. It lasts for 1-7 minutes, while stage 2 NREM lasts for 10-25 minutes. In stage 2 NREM, individuals are more difficult to arouse. It also consumes half of the sleep episode.

Slow-wave sleep is a combination of stages 3 and 4 NREM. Both stages are characterized by high-voltage and slow-wave activity on EEG.

Random eye movement or REM is the dream phase of sleep. This phase’s duration lengthens as the sleep episode progresses. Brain wave activity becomes desynchronized, body movements are reduced, and the eye moves rapidly in this phase. This phase is important for memory consolidation.

The Struggle Against Anxiety And Sleep Deprivation

  • ENT Institute

We’ve all dealt with bouts of anxiety, mild or severe. If we examine how it makes us feel, it’s almost a sickly feeling depending on frequency and intensity. Despite anxiety’s psychological properties, there’s a physical manifestation that’s beyond denial. When that happens, we’re caught in a prison of mind-numbing thoughts and crippling surges of who-knows-what throughout our bodies. What affects our brains, affects our bodies in more ways than we understand. It just so happens that the correlation between anxiety and sleep deprivation is something that we can talk about at the ENT Institute, since we treat sleep disorders

I’m no expert on the subject. Rather, I drew a bad hand at the table of life, another statistic of an anxiety disorder that attacks the mind and the body simultaneously. But that’s why this subject became a point of interest for me. Since I’m no expert, here’s a quote from one: “Long-term anxiety and panic attacks can cause your brain to release stress hormones on a regular basis. This can increase the frequency of symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and depression. When you feel anxious and stressed, your brain floods your nervous system with hormones and chemicals designed to help you respond to a threat. Adrenaline and cortisol are two examples,” . 

So then, what is there to do about anxiety and sleep deprivation? 

Which Types Of Antidepressants Can Help With Sleep

Your doctor may prescribe one of the following antidepressants that can also help you sleep:

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