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How Sleep Affects Mental Health

April 30, 2023

Our Mental Health Awareness Month newsletter series is focused on raising awareness and promoting positive mental health. The series will consist of four articles, which will be released once a week throughout the month of May. Each article will cover different aspects of mental health, offering helpful tips and information to encourage readers to prioritize their emotional, psychological, and social well-being.

A good night’s sleep is one of our body’s most fundamental needs. But let’s face it: sometimes, getting enough sleep can feel like a real time-drainer. In fact, we spend almost one-third of our lives sleeping! So When you’re busy and always focusing on the next thing on your list you need to get done, it’s easy to see why we sometimes end up putting our sleep needs on the back burner. But as it turns out, the amount of sleep (and the quality of sleep we get) is incredibly important for our health and wellness, especially when it comes to mental health.

While you sleep, your brain and your body are hard at work recovering from the day before and getting ready for the day ahead. For example, your body releases various hormones while you snooze which are important for muscle repair and metabolism. What’s more, your brain is also getting some much-needed rest from all the stimuli and information that it has been processing during the day. At the same time, as it goes through the different stages of sleep, it’s also forming new neural pathways that it will need later for better memory and cognition.

As a result, sleep deprivation is often linked to issues like mood swings, poor concentration, and overall poorer cognitive functioning [1]. Sleep disorders like insomnia can interfere with your body’s ability to manage stress and protect from neuroinflammation [2]. At worst, people who suffer from long-term sleep deprivation (insomnia) tend to be more likely to experience serious mental health issues like depression and anxiety. [3]

While researchers are still investigating the exact relationship between sleep and mental health, it also seems that this relationship is two-sided: people with mood disorders like generalized anxiety and depression also tend to be more likely to suffer from chronic sleep disturbances.

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Because sleep quality and mental health are so interconnected, making sure you’re getting enough high-quality sleep is crucial for taking care of your mental health. If you struggle with your sleep, you might benefit from good “sleep hygiene” practices like adhering to a regular bedtime, minimizing your exposure to blue light in the hours before you go to sleep, and keeping your bedroom clean, cool, and comfortable. Many people also find that using sleep supplements like CerenityPM can also help them doze off more easily and stay asleep for longer. Additionally, it may be helpful to have your hormone levels checked as low progesterone may be the source of your sleep struggles. If you find yourself needing more help with your sleep, please reach out to us to help you find a solution that works for you.