Sleep and mental health are closely related, and a lack of sleep can have a significant impact on our mental wellbeing. Poor sleep can cause mania, psychosis, or paranoia, or worsen existing symptoms. It can also increase the risk of mental disorders and affect our ability to cope with stress. This article explores the link between sleep and mental health, the effects of sleep deprivation, and tips for improving sleep habits.
Sleep plays an important role in restoring the body's natural rhythm every day and optimizing brain function. It is recommended that adults get seven to eight hours of sleep each night, but many of us don't get enough. Insomnia is thought to affect around one in three people, and it is often associated with stress and anxiety, mental health conditions such as depression and schizophrenia, and physical health conditions such as heart problems and hormonal changes. Sleep deprivation can cause psychological and physical health problems in many ways.
It has been found that poor or insufficient sleep increases negative emotional responses to stressors and decreases positive emotions. People with mental health disorders are even more likely to experience chronic sleep problems, which can exacerbate psychiatric symptoms and even increase the risk of suicide. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that subjects who slept just 4.5 hours a night for a week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad and mentally exhausted. A study using logistic regression found that after adjusting for age, marital status, income, smoking, and educational level, the association between insufficient sleep and frequent mental distress remained significant. It is important to maintain a regular sleep-wake cycle to optimize brain function and improve mental health.
To help improve your sleep habits, try to avoid drinking coffee late in the day, limit screen time before bedtime, practice relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation before bedtime, and create a comfortable sleeping environment.