As Mental Health Awareness Month begins this May, it's important to know that mental health isn't just about feeling happy or sad, but also includes things like being able to think clearly and make decisions. Your mental health can affect how you feel on a daily basis, as well as your ability to function in social situations or at work.
How does sleep affect mental health?
Sleep is essential for your physical and emotional wellbeing, so it's no surprise that getting enough sleep has been linked with better overall physical health as well as improved moods. Research shows that sleeping less than six hours per night may increase your risk for depression by up to 50%.
The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Mental Health
The effects of sleep deprivation on mental health can deeply affect one’s wellbeing. Sleep deprivation can lead to anxiety and depression, as well as impair decision making, focus, and memory.
If you're having trouble sleeping or feeling tired during the day despite getting enough sleep at night--and if this has been going on for several weeks--you may have insomnia (a persistent problem with falling asleep). If your insomnia persists for months or years at a time, it may be time for professional help from a doctor or therapist who specializes in treating sleep disorders.
The Benefits of Quality Sleep for Mental Health
Sleep is one of the most important factors in mental health. The benefits of quality sleep for mental health are many, including:
- Improved mood
- Improved cognitive functioning (memory, attention span)
- Reduced stress
Tips for Getting Quality Sleep
To get the most out of your sleep, you should create a routine that helps you wind down at night. This includes avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evening, as well as screens (phone, TV, computer). You should also exercise regularly--even if it's just a walk around the block--and make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet so that you can fall asleep easily.
The Bottom Line
Sleep is an essential part of life. It's one of the most important things you can do for your mental health, and it's something that many people don't get enough of. The more time you spend in bed sleeping, the better off your brain will be.
Sleep helps to regulate emotions and moods, so if you're feeling down or depressed, getting enough sleep can help lift those feelings. It also helps with memory formation and learning new skills or information--this means that if you want to learn something new at work or school (or just remember what happened yesterday!), getting quality sleep is key!
If getting enough quality rest seems like an impossible feat for you right now due to stressors in life such as work deadlines or relationship problems with friends/family members then consider turning to weighted sleep products to help improve your sleep latency.
Try the Nodpod here.