The quality and amount of sleep play a huge role in the mental health and mood of an individual.
Even just one night of inadequate sleep can heighten one’s stress level. Constant lack of sleep and chronic sleep deprivation can alter a person’s disposition and may even lead to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. In fact, a lot of research is now establishing links between insomnia and depression and how the two can interchangeably affect each other.
Sleep and mental health are broad and complex topics that still need further research to be able to fully grasp and comprehend well about them. All the same, the more we dig deeper with the topics, the more facts we find regarding the key role of sleep in our physical and mental well-being.
In this article, we’ll go a little dipper with what is already learned regarding sleep and how it is comparative with the mental and emotional health of a person. We’ll also tackle some tips from the connoisseurs that can help improve your sleep and help you put on the right track.
The Relationship Between Sleep and Mood
Mood signifies the emotional state of an individual. Not getting a goodnight’s sleep can contribute to a negative disposition or mood of a person. Someone who lacks enough sleep is more likely to be irritable, sad, stressed out, fatigued, frustrated, etc. In one study from the University of Pennsylvania, they have reduced the sleeping time of their participants by one-third for a week. The study showed that the lack of sleep has negatively affected the mood of the participants.
On the other side of the coin, getting enough sleep can also improve one’s disposition. Even in the aforementioned study, the mood of the participants remarkably improved after getting enough sleep. Having enough sleep during the night can make you feel more refreshed, energized, and revitalized even at the start of your day. This will influence how you will feel during the day and interact with others.
However, the quality of sleep is as important as its quantity. If you have fragmented or very light sleep, chances are you still won’t get the same feeling as those who have the same hours yet have a smooth-sailing and undisturbed sleep.
Sleep and Emotional Reactivity
Emotional reactivity means the situation wherein our immediate emotional reactions are quite hard to manage. Usually, it manifests as outbursts, lashing out, withdrawing, feeling hurt, or having an incomplete ability to control response to a certain stimulus.
Though a small amount of emotional reactivity is normal at times, emotional wellness helps from being aware and mindful of the other person’s emotions so as to prevent someone become all-encompassing. Alas, poor sleep makes this ordeal more difficult as the person’s mood and mental bandwidth are weakened thus, making a person more inclined to volatile reactions. Furthermore, this may complicate miscommunications and may even crush relationships with friends, workmates, schoolmates, loved ones, etc.
How Insomnia Affects Mental Health
Insomnia is a broad term that refers to the struggle of falling asleep, failure to sleep over the night, and/or awakening early in the morning. If it continues for a while, it may probably lead to chronic insomnia which has been found out by studies to be connected to some mental health concerns.
“Epidemiological studies, the gathering of information about health conditions by looking into patterns and connections in the data, have significantly overlapped insomnia with other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and ADHD.” says Dr.Mark, a specialist doctor at DoctorSpring. However, it is important to note that sleep doesn’t cause these conditions but are found to be concurrent in a lot of patients.
The Relationship Between Sleep and Other Mental Health Issues
When looking at the connection between sleep deprivation such as insomnia and mental health problems, it becomes clear that these two are mutually related and reinforcing each other. The hard part is that both these problems feed into each other, making it more difficult to solve them.
Sleep and Anxiety
Studies revealed that people who live with insomnia are more likely to strive with anxiety as well. Research from the University of California Berkeley has found out that not getting adequate sleep may trigger and agitate some parts of the brain connected with anxiety. As a result, people who are inclined to have anxiety attacks are more likely to be negatively influenced by sleep deprivation.