It's no secret that sleep is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. Studies have revealed that those who don't get enough rest are more likely to experience negative emotions, such as anger, frustration, irritability, and sadness. Insomnia is also a common symptom of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Our brains need sleep to function properly, and when we don't get enough rest, it can lead to mental confusion and difficulty concentrating. You may find it harder to remember certain memories or find the right words to express yourself when you haven't had enough sleep.
It can also be difficult to be productive when your brain hasn't had the chance to rest. This difficulty in identifying a clear cause and effect reflects what is believed to be a two-way relationship between sleep problems and depressive symptoms. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is associated with more intense dreaming, and research has shown that there is a relationship between depression, self-reported happiness, and self-reported sleep duration. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), anxiety disorders affect approximately 20% of adults in the United States each year. After taking into account differences in depression, sleep quality was no longer a significant predictor of the variance in the daily negative affect of participants. Mental health and sleep are both complex issues that are affected by many factors.
However, given their close association, there is evidence that improving sleep can have a positive impact on mental health and may even be part of the treatment for certain psychiatric disorders. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an example of a neurodevelopmental condition that affects communication and social interaction. The relationship between sleep patterns and mental state is circular, so it's important to talk to a doctor if you have trouble sleeping. Throughout this article, it should be clear that sleep patterns continue to strongly influence our moods even in adulthood. Although more research is needed on the subject, researchers suspect that sleep may contribute to the development of mental health conditions. Improving your sleep hygiene by cultivating healthy habits and creating a sleep-friendly bedroom environment can help reduce sleep interruptions.
Start by analyzing your sleep habits and see if there are steps you can take on your own to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep.