Relationship Between Sleep & Mental Health

Sleep and mental health have a close relationship. A person suffering from sleep deprivation or insomnia is likely to have a disturbing psychological and mental health. Similarly, a person with mental health issues finds it difficult to have a good night’s sleep. People with anxiety, bipolar disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression are more likely to have sleep disorders. 

Traditionally, doctors or psychiatrists believed that sleep or insomnia are symptoms of various psychological disorders. However, recently, there are more talks about sleep deprivation being the cause of such mental issues. You can assess yourself with your sleep. The days you have a good night’s sleep, it is more likely that you feel positive and emotionally strong. While on days with disturbed sleep, you might be more vulnerable emotionally, have difficulty focusing on things, or have more negative thoughts. Hence, the relationship between sleep and mental health is more profound than we think. 


How Does Sleep Affect Mental Health?
When a person is in a deep sleep, he/she goes through four stages: dropping body temperature, relaxation of muscles and heart rate, and slow breathing. A deep and quiet sleep leads to a psychological state that helps in boosting the immune system. 

With new studies, psychologists are also trying to prove how a disruption in sleep leads to an increase in stress hormones, impairs emotional regulation, and thinking. Hence, insomnia may increase the effects of psychological problems and vice versa. 

Sleep Disorders & Mental Illness 
There are several types of sleep disorders, but the most common insomnia is obstructive sleep apnea, which is a problem of respiration during sleep, various movement syndrome, etc. Psychiatrists have observed a great overlap between sleep disorders and mental illnesses. According to studies, almost 90% of children who have depression experience insomnia, and about 65 – 90% of adults with depression report problems associated with sleep. In the case of a bipolar disorder, studies report that almost 23% to 78% of people sleep excessively or have hypersomnia while other patients have restless sleep or insomnia. 

Similarly, ADHD and anxiety disorders are also accompanied by alterations in a general sleep routine. The type of sleep disorder may vary, but almost always a mental illness is associated with sleep-related issues and vice versa. 

How Can You Improve Your Sleep & Psychological State?
Some steps can be taken to improve the quality of sleep and the psychological state of a person. These include: 

  • Regular Physical Exercise: Regular physical activity can help you sleep better by making your body tired. A walk in the park, aerobics, or any other physical exercise can help you get better sleep at night. 
  • Reduction in Caffeine Intake: You must restrict the intake of caffeine and other stimulants that can hinder your sleep. 
  • Sleep Routine: You should try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up in the morning. Moreover, you must have a routine to sleep only in your bedroom with no stimulants such as laptops or mobile phones. 
  • Relaxation Techniques: Relaxation techniques such as meditation are also very helpful in calming your nerves and helping you sleep better.  

Final Words 
To sum up, there is a deep relationship between sleep and mental health. If you notice any alterations in your sleep lately, you must be careful and take steps to get a good night’s sleep.