The Benefits Of Sleep On Your Mental Health

The Benefits Of Sleep On Your Mental Health

The Benefits Of Sleep On Your Mental Health

The conversation regarding mental health has evolved tremendously in the last decade. Countless studies have been conducted in order to further understand what happens inside our minds, and the effects that different mental conditions have on our brains and bodies.

With new research comes new tips on how to feel your best, and it’s no secret that a good night’s rest can act as a mood booster and improve brain function. For those dealing with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder, here’s how a fitful night of rest on a regular basis can help you see improvements in your mental health.

 Sleep And Our Brains

Without enough sleep, it’s impossible for our brains to function properly. Good sleep has been linked to a better overall emotional well-being. When we don’t sleep, we put our bodies through so much stress that, if repeated over and over, it starts to alter our brain’s ability to create necessary neurochemicals.1

While one or two sleepless nights may not indicate an underlying condition like insomnia or sleep apnea, it’s still important to keep tabs on just how much sleep you’re getting each night. If it’s a continuous issue, and you notice more dips or changes in your overall mood, a mental health check may be in order.

How It Works

Every 90 minutes, our sleeping bodies cycle between two categories of sleep: “quiet” sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.During quiet sleep, our bodies start to relax, our blood pressure decreases, and our heart rate and breathing become slower. This is the stage where studies have found positive changes in boosting our immune system, among many other advantages.

REM sleep is where we dream. Here, our blood pressure and heart rate tend to ramp up a bit. This is typically where our brains are working hard to retain information. A good night of solid REM sleep can help improve your learning and memory, but if disrupted enough over time, starts to impair our thinking and ability to regulate our emotions, thus leading to a variety of mental health conditions.3

Sleep Can Be The Best Medicine

While there are many differentiating factors when it comes to studying sleep and mental health, studies have found a positive correlation between getting enough sleep and positive emotions in participants.Sleep disorders, like insomnia, do require a different treatment process, but participants experiencing conditions like anxiety or depression reported a difference in their overall mood.

If conditions still persist, looking into cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is another option that many find to be beneficial in improving their mental health.

While sleep may not always be the issue, it can be the solution. Getting yourself on a regular sleep schedule and practicing good sleeping habits (no screen time before bed, swapping your phone out for a book or guided mediation, etc.) can start you on the path to feeling great.

For a list of  incredibly effective ways to get a better night sleep, click here.... 

 

Sources:

 

  1. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/health-impact/complex-relationship-between-sleep-depression-anxiety
  2. https://www.wakehealth.edu/Specialty/s/Sleep-Medicine/Sleep-Explained
  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5623526/

 

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