Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Mental Health

The quality of your sleep and your mental health are very closely connected. Most people believe that sleep deprivation only affects our physical health. But the fact is that it also severely affects our psychological state and mental health. Studies even show that those suffering from mental health issues are more likely to experience insomnia or other sleep disorders.

Chronic sleep problems affect from 50% to 80% of patients in psychiatric practice. Additionally, chronic sleep problems affect 10% to 18% of adults in the general United States population. Sleep problems are particularly experienced by those who are fighting depression, anxiety, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. In the past, clinicians saw insomnia and other sleep problems as a symptom of mental disease. However, newer studies suggest that sleep problems can directly contribute to the development of some psychiatric disorders. Treating a sleep disorder may help to alleviate some of the symptoms of the co-occurring mental health issue.

The Connection between Sleep and Mental Health

The relationship between our brain and our mental health is not entirely understood, but research shows that a good night’s sleep is vital for mental and emotional resilience. On the other hand, sleep disturbances and sleep deprivation set the stage for negative thinking and emotional vulnerability.

So far, researchers have established a stable connection between sleep problems and mental health, and have proven that sleep disorders affect patients with mental health issues more than people in the general population. Sleep problems increase the risk for developing specific mental diseases, and treating the sleep disorder will significantly help to alleviate the symptoms of the mental health problem.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Mental Health

How Sleep Affects Mental Health

During sleep, we go through multiple sleep stages. Initially, one sleep cycle lasts around 90 minutes. Every 90 minutes, you will change a sleep cycle, but as sleep progresses, the length of time spend in each sleep stage will vary.

During non-REM sleep, also known as “quiet” sleep, you will go through four different stages of deep sleep. Your body temperature will drop, your muscles will relax, and your breathing and heart rate will slow down. Deep sleep nourishes your physical health, such as helping to boost your immune system functioning.

REM sleep also known as rapid eye movement is a sleep stage when people dream. Your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and body temperature levels are very similar to when you are awake. REM sleep contributes to emotional health and enhances learning and memory.

Scientists have discovered that sleep deprivation affects levels of neurotransmitters and stress hormones which may wreak havoc in the brain, impair your thinking and emotional regulation. In this way, sleep disorders may intensify the symptoms of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, bipolar disorder, and ADHD.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Mental Health

Psychological Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep is vital for optimal mental health. During sleep, the brain processes information and consolidates memories learned and experienced during the day.

Chronic sleep deprivation can inhibit productivity, slow down your thought processes, suppress creativity, increase irritability, impair concentration and coordination, and make learning very difficult.

Sleep deprived individuals are more likely to anger, become aggressive or depressed and they have more difficulties handling stress.

Chronic sleep deprivation can even induce hallucinations and trigger mania. However, mania is triggered only in individuals who are suffering from bipolar disorder.

Lack of sleep has similar mental effects as drinking – it impairs judgments, distorts thinking and slows down reaction time. As you can see, without a good night’s rest, it is impossible to function optimally during the day and successfully complete your daily activities.

Practical Tips to Sleep Better

1. Figure out your sleep efficacy

To determine you sleep efficacy, divide the number of hours slept by the number of hours spent in bed, and then multiply it by 100. A good sleep efficacy number is around 85. This number reveals if you're giving your body enough time to relax and unwind at night or if you're spending too much time in bed doing other things, like watching movies or reading.

2. Set good sleep behaviors

Having a consistent bed routine isn’t only beneficial to children, but to adults as well. The first step of improving your sleep is to try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day. This helps your body set a regular rhythm and ensure you wake up refreshed every morning.

3. Get help if you need it

If you have troubles falling asleep at night for an extended period, don’t turn to OTC medication. Over-the-counter products can be used for occasional sleeplessness, but mustn’t be used on a daily basis. If you struggle to fall asleep at night, never hesitate to see your family doctor or visit a sleep clinic.

Meet the Author

This post was written by Andrew Levacy. Andrew runs Memory Foam Talk, a site dedicated to unbiased mattress reviews. As someone fighting insomnia for years, his mission is to help people get a better night’s rest by facilitating the often long and painful decision of selecting a new mattress.

Improve Your Well-Being With These 4 Home Hacks

Our home is a place that is always there. We come back to it at the end of each day, and we spend years raising our children in it. But, it is quite often a place we take for granted, and we shouldn’t. You might not be aware of it, but your home can actually have a huge bearing on your health and well-being, and this is why it is so important to look after it and care for it.

In fact, the condition of your home can do a lot to impact on your physical and mental health, your confidence, and your drive and determination. There are so many things you need to consider at home, and self-care is one of the big ones. Turning your home into a place that promotes self-relaxation and self-improvement is so important. Check out these 4 hacks that will help you improve your well-being by enhancing your home.

4 Home Hacks to Improve Your Well-Being

Have a Mood Wall

A mood wall is a fairly uncommon concept for a lot of homes, but it’s one that can have a profound impact in yours. You’ve likely heard of mood boards, and this is a similar concept, except that you are choosing one entire wall in your home and making that the mood wall. You can do this with color, pictures, and writing, and it all combines to give you the best possible outcome. A striking mood wall can improve mental health, and make you feel more happy and confident.

4 Home Hacks to Improve Your Well-Being

Introduce Some Plants

One of the most important aspects of improving your well-being is to introduce some plants into the home. There are a lot of ways to make the home a better place, but plants are excellent because they breathe life into the place, and improve air quality as well. Plants can transform your property into a greener, healthier, happier place, and that is so important. Start shopping around for some great houseplants – they will make all the difference to the way you are feeling.



Make Sure You Sleep Better

Getting a good amount of uninterrupted sleep is so important for keeping your fresh and alert and making sure you are operating at the best possible level every day. There are so many things to keep in mind in this respect, and you need to look at getting the best pillow you possibly can so it feels like you’re sleeping on air. A mattress topper might also be a good idea in order to improve comfort and support in bed.

4 Home Hacks to Improve Your Well-Being

Get a Pet

It’s amazing what a profound impact a pet can have on the home. Even if you already have kids, introducing an animal into the mix can really make things much more impressive. There are so many ways in which you can benefit from a pet, and having that relationship will improve your sense of purpose and self-care. Definitely, think about getting a cat or a dog for the home right now. If you do not have the time or finances for these animals, a fish is a solid substitute! Elizabeth, the blog founder actually has a gecko and has had bearded dragons as her home pets!

These are some of the best things you can do to improve the home going forward and enhance your mental well-being as well. So many people overlook the correlation between the home and our personal health, but you need to do what you can to improve this as much as possible.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here