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How is mental illness affected by sleep?

October 14, 2022

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How is mental illness affected by sleep?

Mental illness and sleep have a clear connection documented by scientists. The science behind this phenomenon is fascinating, and poor sleep’s effects on your mental health are devastating. We will unpack the science for you and the kinds of cognitive effects that poor sleep can cause. 

Mental illness and sleep have a clear connection documented by scientists. The science behind this phenomenon is fascinating, and poor sleep’s effects on your mental health are devastating. We will unpack the science for you and the kinds of cognitive effects that poor sleep can cause.

can lack of sleep cause mental illness?

While you sleep, there are different “waves of sleep your body will experience. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is a stage where your brain increases activity and is associated with dreaming. This stage is also associated with processing your day’s events. According to the Sleep Foundation, the brain works to evaluate thoughts and memories, and it appears that a lack of sleep harms the consolidation of positive emotional content.

Sleep has a profound impact on mental health. Sleep and mental health have a bidirectional relationship; if you have a sleep disorder, you are more likely to have mental health issues, and if you suffer from mental health issues, you are more likely to also suffer from sleep disorders. 

How do sleep issues appear in worsening mental health? Let’s go through the main illnesses related to poor sleep.

Depression

Depression and sleep have a close tie. New scientific evidence suggests that poor sleep and depression combine to form a feedback loop. In other words, as your sleep issues get worse, your depression can worsen, which can continue to exacerbate your sleep issues. 

Depression is a severe mental disorder. Up to 300 million people worldwide are estimated to experience depression, and sleep disorders are core symptoms of depression. This study mentions that up to 75% of depressed people have insomnia symptoms, and 40% of depressed young adults experience hypersomnia. 

Seasonal depressive disorder

Seasonal depressive disorder is a subtype of depression that affects people during times of the year with a decrease in daylight hours. This disorder unsurprisingly changes your circadian rhythm and can leave you sleeping too much or too little, depending on the season. 

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term for disorders such as general or social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There is clear evidence linking these disorders to sleep disorders. Anxiety can create a hyperarousal of the brain, which is a central contributor to insomnia. This hyperarousal is caused by worry, fear, and even anticipatory anxiety before going to sleep. This connection is especially strong in patients with PTSD.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Sleep disorders are common in people with ADHD, and instances of difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakening, and excessive daytime sleeping are common symptoms. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is especially prevalent in people with ADHD. ADHD and sleep disorders are another example of a bidirectional relationship. 

If you’re struggling with a sleep disorder and need supplies to get a good night’s rest, visit https://advancedhomecareonline.com/#products.

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