Sleep is necessary for optimal health. It protects your emotional and physical health, as well as your quality of life.  Having appropriate quality sleep may carefully check your mental and physical health. What happens during you’re asleep has significant impact on how refreshed you feel when you’re up.

Sleep deficiency

Sleep deficiency occurs if you do not get enough sleep, you sleep at the wrong time of day, you do not get enough deep or slow-wave sleep (the most important type).

Break Sleeping Cute Girl Baby  - manbob86 / Pixabay
manbob86 / Pixabay

Your body works throughout sleep to promote good brain function and physical wellness. Sleep also promotes growth and development in children and adolescents. Sleep deprivation can cause immediate injury (as in a vehicle accident), or it can affect you over time. For example, persistent sleep deprivation might increase your risk of some chronic health conditions.

Sleep and mental disorders

Sleep and mental health are inseparably linked. Good sleep is a critical part of good mental health, and poor sleep can worsen symptoms of many psychiatric disorders.

On the flip side, treating psychiatric disorders can improve sleep. When psychiatrists treat patients for depression, anxiety, or other issues, they are often able to improve their sleep quality as well.

Sleep is essential to the healthy function of the body and mind.

Sleep allows the body and mind to restore themselves and allows the brain to process information, create new connections related to learning, and strengthen memories. It also helps regulate hormones that control appetite, which can impact weight gain over time.

People who don’t get enough sleep are more prone to mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety. Sleep deprivation is also associated with higher risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, both of which are linked to mental health problems.

For medical problems

While poor sleep is not a symptom of every mental health condition, it is present in many mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety. As such, improving your sleep hygiene can be a powerful tool for achieving better mental health.

If you’re struggling with sleep problems that you think maybe affecting your mental health, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional about treatment options. If you’re seeing a psychiatrist for mental health treatment, ask about ways to improve your sleep quality.

Sleep and sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene is a series of healthy habits and behaviors that can improve sleep quality, promoting better physical and mental health.

Dark Room Chair Table Window Light  - sharuka862 / Pixabay
sharuka862 / Pixabay

Sleep hygiene can include everything from establishing a bedtime routine to managing your environment and thinking patterns. The goal of good sleep hygiene is to make sleep easier by reducing any barriers that might stand in the way of getting the quality rest you need.

Importance of sleep for mental health

Adequate sleep, particularly REM sleep, aids the brain’s processing of emotional states. The brain works during sleep to analyze and store ideas and memories, and it appears that a lack of sleep is particularly detrimental. This can affect mood and emotional reactivity and is linked to the severity of mental health conditions.

It’s possible that sleep problems could result from the physical symptoms of a mental health disorder — for example, feeling too anxious to fall asleep. But there’s also evidence that sleeping difficulties may actually precede the onset of some mental health disorders and contribute to their development.

Proper sleep and emotions

Although many people treat sleep as a luxury rather than a necessity, the negative consequences of sleep deprivation are real.

During sleep, the brain works through processing information from the day before. This includes integrating short-term memories into long-term storage and consolidating thoughts related to emotional events.

People Emotion Dramatic Female  - 1388843 / Pixabay
1388843 / Pixabay

This means that without sufficient sleep we may not be able to properly understand our own emotions or those of others. This can have significant impacts on relationships.

Sleep and medical disorders

Sleep is a fundamental part of life and plays a key role in our health and well-being. It is especially important for children, teens, and young adults whose brains are still developing.

It’s not only about the quantity of sleep; it’s also about the quality. Sleep deprivation can cause mood swings, decreased attention, learning difficulties, and memory impairment.

There is growing recognition that doctors should consider not just the mental health symptoms but also the sleeping habits of their patients. If a patient shows signs of depression or anxiety, physicians will likely want to ask about sleep habits and quality. This can help identify individuals at risk of developing serious mental health problems so that appropriate interventions, including treatments for sleep issues, can be provided as soon as possible.

How much sleep do you need?

There’s no one right answer for everyone, but the National Sleep Foundation recommends an average of seven hours to nine hours of sleep per night for adults.

Follow our blog and read these tips on sleep hygiene to adjust your sleep schedule and behaviors.

Share this post
About Author

Chaleepa Mallawa

Chaleepa is working as a doctor based in Sri Lanka. He has interest in content creation based on health, science, tech and motivation.