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Why Is Sleep Good For Your Mental Health

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How Does Cbt For Insomnia Work

Why Your Sleep Cycles Are So Important for Mental-Emotional Health

The treatment involves educating people about sleep and aims to change their sleep-related behaviors and thought processes.

People learn about good sleep hygiene, which involves practices such as limiting daytime naps, avoiding alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine in the evening, and refraining from using digital devices at bedtime.

The behavioral techniques include:

  • Sleep restriction: Reducing the time the person spends in bed to match more closely the amount of sleep they need.
  • Stimulus control: For example, using the bedroom only for sex and sleeping, going to bed only when sleepy, and getting out of bed after 1520 minutes of wakefulness.
  • Relaxation: For example, tensing and relaxing the muscles while in bed, or focusing on the breath.

The cognitive techniques include:

  • putting the day to rest, which involves setting aside time before bed to reflect on the day
  • paradoxical intention, or trying to stay awake
  • belief restructuring, which means addressing unrealistic expectations about sleep
  • mindfulness, in which the person acknowledges their thoughts and feelings before letting them go
  • imagery, which requires a person to generate positive mental images

Psychiatrists have proposed three interrelated factors to explain the close two-way relationship between sleep and mental illness:

  • emotional dysregulation
  • genetics, in particular relating to the circadian clock that regulates the sleep-wake cycle
  • disruption of rapid eye movement sleep

What Is Mental Health

Mental health refers to our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.3

While the term is often associated with discussions about mental illnesses, mental health is actually about the general state of our emotions and mental functions.

The World Health Organization defines mental health as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.4

As a high functioning person, the goal is to strive to look after your mental health so you can continue to enjoy every day with your family, friends and colleagues.

In a day-to-day context, your mental health affects how you think, feel, and act, and can determine how you handle stress, interact with others and make decisions. Maintaining good mental health is equally as important at every stage of your life, from childhood and adolescence, all the way through adulthood.

Im Too Anxious To Sleep What Should I Do

It can be immensely frustrating for someone to get into bed, ready for sleeponly to have worries, stressors, or unfinished to-do list items buzz around their brain and keep them up for hours to come. Writing anxieties down in a journal can be an effective way to calm a restless mind and soothe nighttime stress for many, putting anxious thoughts onto paper dampens their power and helps the individual empty their head. Guided meditations can also help focusing on the breathrather than an important deadline tomorrowcan temper distraction and nudge anyone toward relaxation.

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Sleep Helps The Body Repair Itself

Sleep is a time for you to relax, but it’s also a time during which the body is hard at work repairing damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays, and other harmful exposure. Your cells produce certain proteins while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair the damage of the day so you can stay healthy.

How Does Poor Sleep Affect Your Mental Health

UHS Sleep

If youre having problems sleeping, you might:

  • be more likely to feel anxious, depressed or suicidal
  • be more likely to have psychotic episodes poor sleep can trigger mania, psychosis or paranoia, or make existing symptoms worse
  • feel lonely or isolated, eg, if you don’t have the energy to see people or they don’t seem to understand
  • struggle to concentrate or make plans and decisions
  • feel irritable or not have energy to do things
  • have problems with day to day life, eg, at work or with family/whnau and friends
  • develop other health conditions, including mental health conditions.

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What Are Sleep Deprivation And Deficiency

Sleep deprivation is a condition that occurs if you don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deficiency is a broader concept. It occurs if you have one or more of the following:

  • You don’t get enough sleep
  • You sleep at the wrong time of day
  • You don’t sleep well or get all of the different types of sleep that your body needs
  • You have a sleep disorder that prevents you from getting enough sleep or causes poor quality sleep

This article focuses on sleep deficiency, unless otherwise noted.

Sleeping is a basic human need, like eating, drinking, and breathing. Like these other needs, sleeping is a vital part of the foundation for good health and well-being throughout your lifetime.

Sleep deficiency can lead to physical and mental health problems, injuries, loss of productivity, and even a greater risk of death.

The Importance Of Constant Quality Sleep To Your Mental Health

Psychreg on Mental HealthWHAT’S IN THIS ARTICLE?

Quality sleep is so important for so many different aspects of your health and well-being. Not getting enough sleep or waking up regularly throughout the night can affect your bodys ability to recover from disease and injury, weaken your immune system, affect your energy levels and productivity, and leave you with aches, strains, and chronic pain. One impact that is often overlooked is sleeps effect on mental health. Sleep deprivation can cause serious mental health problems, which can cause a huge toll on your life if not effectively addressed.

To help everyone who is suffering from poor sleep, this article will explain the importance of constant quality sleep to your mental health.

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How Do I Know If Im Getting Enough Sleep

The amount of sleep your body needs to function optimally varies as you age, with children and teens needing between nine and 12 hours, while adults only need between seven and nine. The majority of experts agree that anything less than six hours a night is unhealthy and can lead to a heightened risk for the aforementioned health problems.

Tips For Creating And Sticking To A Routine

Sleep and Mental Health

If you already have a daily routine, start by modifying it. But don’t make too many changes at once. Write down your new routine. It can be in the form of a schedule, or it can be a list with items to check off. Your chances of success will be higher if you do most things at the same time each day.

Track your progress with a calendar or other visual aid. Reward yourself when you stick to your routine, but be sure the reward supports your goals. For example, you might reward yourself for exercising each day with a pair of new sneakers.

Routines need new habits, which can take time. In one study, people took an average of 66 days to create a new habit. Technology such as fitness trackers can be helpful in setting healthy habits. Many also track sleep, a vital part of any healthy schedule.

People who are trying to establish new routines and habits are told to be flexible, which can seem like a contradiction. In fact, failing to follow your routine for one day doesnât mean youâre off-track. If you let yourself take a day off, it can be easier to return to your routine than if you think of any break in your routine as a failure.

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Making A Good Nights Sleep A Reality

For sleep to be productiveresetting clocks and synapses and processing information, it needs to be set up to succeed. You tend to be tuned into the dark-and-light cycle of our days. The circadian rhythm is also tuned into this 24-hour cycle. But, for many who live with mental health issues, they are not. They tend to be night owls, or they sleep for long periods of time, or they have various types of insomnia. Basically, their rhythm is off.

Studies in bipolar patients have shown that helping them achieve more quantity, quality and timing of sleep, help decrease psychiatric episodes. Social rhythm therapy supports the implementation of regular, daily routines that can help recover the biological circadian rhythm processand as it so happens, sleep is an important part of this. This type of therapy has also been successful in treating anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, and other mental health issues.

Behaviors such as retiring and waking at the same time each night or doing a relaxing activity, such as reading, before bed are all possible ways to help get into a groove and reset the daily rhythm. All of which might help lessen those sleepless nights and those grumpy, anxious days. For more sleep tips, click here.

Looks After Your Emotional And Mental Wellbeing

Not only is sleep important when looking after your physical health, but there are psychological benefits of sleep too. If you have a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, you might find it much more difficult to get a good nights sleep. But not getting enough sleep can also increase your risk of developing poor mental health.

For example, if youve got a lot on your mind, are feeling upset, anxious or worried you might find you lie awake at night going over things in your head. But then not being able to sleep only adds to your list of worries the following day. You might begin to see a change in your mood and find youre feeling low. The good news is improving your sleep can also help to improve your mental health and wellbeing.

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How Could Mental Health Problems Affect My Sleep

If you live with a mental health problem, this could affect your sleep in lots of ways. For example:

  • Anxiety can cause racing or repetitive thoughts, and worries that keep you awake. You may also have panic attacks while you’re trying to sleep.
  • Depression and seasonal affective disorder can make you sleep more, including staying in bed for longer or sleeping more often. Depression can also cause insomnia.
  • If you’ve gone through trauma, this can cause flashbacks, nightmares or night terrors that disturb your sleep. You might feel unsafe or uncomfortable in bed or in the dark.
  • Paranoia and psychosis may make it difficult to sleep. You may hear voices, or see things you find frightening or disturbing.
  • Mania often causes feelings of energy and elation, so you might not feel tired or want to sleep. Racing thoughts can also keep you awake and cause insomnia.
  • Psychiatric medication can cause side effects including insomnia, disturbed sleep, nightmares and oversleeping. Stopping psychiatric drugs can also cause sleep problems.

The Relationship Between Sleep And Mental Health

Good Sleep Hygiene Is Important For Your Mental Health

Its no secret that sleep plays an important role in good physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling irritable and exhausted in the short-term, but it can also have serious long-term health consequences as well. Lack of sleep is linked to a number of unfavorable health consequences including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression.

Some psychiatric conditions can cause sleep problems, and sleep disturbances can also exacerbate the symptoms of many mental conditions including depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Research suggests that the relationship between sleep and mental health is complex. While sleep has long been known to be a consequence of many psychiatric conditions, more recent views suggest that sleep can also play a causal role in both the development and maintenance of different mental health problems.

In other words, sleep problems can lead to changes in mental health, but mental health conditions can also worsen problems with sleep. Lack of sleep may trigger the onset of certain psychological conditions, although researchers are not completely certain of the underlying reasons for this. Because of this circular relationship between your sleep patterns and your mental state, it is important to talk to your doctor if you are having problems falling or staying asleep.

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How Much Sleep Do We Need

Most of us need around 8 hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly but some need more and some less. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it.

As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep.

A variety of factors can cause poor sleep, including health conditions such as sleep apnoea. But in most cases, it’s due to bad sleeping habits.

Circadian Rhythm Sleep And Mood

Our bodies, finely tuned machines that they are, have different control centers to regulate what we do and when we do it. These control centers are mostly governed by the environment and our genes. Probably the most well-known of these biological rhythms is the circadian rhythm. It controls most of our biological and behavioral functions.

Now, consider that each organ in the body has its own clock which needs to be synchronized through a master clock in the brain. Pretty cool imagery, right? The theory is that the circadian rhythm helps manage this process. So when it is dysregulated, the body doesnt get the opportunity to get in sync. As a result, motor, emotional, and interpersonal functioning is altered. Whats more: Sleep allows for this alignment to happen. Its almost like the bodys chance to wind all the organs clocks to keep them running along the same time. And, it explains why you feel edgy or emotional when youre overtired.

When the circadian rhythm is disturbed, sleep disorders and major physiological disturbances can happen. Sleep problems can mean cognitive impairments, such as a decrease in learning and attention capabilities, long-term memory, language development and emotions. These can take the form of insomnia, various waking times, and longer sleep timesall of which tend to be linked with psychiatric disorders.

There is some evidence that treating sleep problems can help lessen psychiatric episodes, but how?

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The Benefits Of Slumber

We have so many demands on our timejobs, family, errandsnot to mention finding some time to relax. To fit everything in, we often sacrifice sleep. But sleep affects both mental and physical health. Its vital to your well-being.

Of course, sleep helps you feel rested each day. But while youre sleeping, your brain and body dont just shut down. Internal organs and processes are hard at work throughout the night.

Sleep services all aspects of our body in one way or another: molecular, energy balance, as well as intellectual function, alertness and mood, says Dr. Merrill Mitler, a sleep expert and neuroscientist at NIH.

When youre tired, you cant function at your best. Sleep helps you think more clearly, have quicker reflexes and focus better. The fact is, when we look at well-rested people, theyre operating at a different level than people trying to get by on 1 or 2 hours less nightly sleep, says Mitler.

Loss of sleep impairs your higher levels of reasoning, problem-solving and attention to detail, Mitler explains. Tired people tend to be less productive at work. Theyre at a much higher risk for traffic accidents. Lack of sleep also influences your mood, which can affect how you interact with others. A sleep deficit over time can even put you at greater risk for developing depression.

Ongoing research shows a lack of sleep can produce diabetic-like conditions in otherwise healthy people, says Mitler.

When Routine Is Especially Important

Why Improving Your Sleep Can Improve Your Mental Health And Life | Devin Burke – Sleep Coach

The psychological benefits of routine can make a difference if youâre facing challenges, including:

Addiction recovery. People who are recovering from addiction need to replace bad habits. Planning ahead and staying busy can stave off boredom, which could lead to relapse. Good habits can improve self-image and confidence, which are often lacking in people with addiction disorders.

Bipolar disorder. Routines may help with bipolar disorder, according to one study in which people used a tracking device to monitor their schedules. Disruptions were tied to both “up” and “down” episodes. Those with bipolar disorder may have more sensitive body clocks, researchers say.

Othermental healthchallenges. In another study, scientists studied circadian rhythms, which are the periods of rest and activity that you go through in a typical day. Disruptions of these cycles triggered depression, mood disorders, and other problems. The researchers also found that people with disturbed circadian rhythms were more likely to be lonely and less likely to be happy.

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Look Into Image Therapy

For those with PTSD, Dr. Blum says that studies conducted by Veterans Affairs have shown success with image rehearsal therapy . The multi-step treatment involves writing down the details of the nightmare upon awakening from it, rewriting the dream on another piece of paper and changing the narrative to be positive, then going back to bed with the intention of having a positive dream that resembles the new narrative you have created. This essentially helps you to re-program your nightmares to make them less frequent or intense over time.

Sleep And Psychiatric Disorders

There’s a lot of epidemiologic evidence that insomnia, in particular, often precedes new onset or exacerbation of psychiatric disorders, particularly mood disorders, Dr. Benca says. People who have chronic insomnia are more likely to develop depression than people who don’t have any sleep problems, and excessively sleepy individuals may also be at greater risk for developing a psychiatric illness.

Sleep problems are often but not always a leading edge of psychiatric disorders. And on the other hand, when people are acutely psychiatrically ill, that can contribute to their sleep problems, she says.

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