Sleep deprivation can affect the mind in various ways

In the current hectic life, a large number of medical practitioners and medical experts are recognizing sleep as an essential ingredient for the public health. This is particularly because snoozing the alarm button has become a regular morning habit for many people. Although it may be a tempting and adventurous idea to be awake until late in the night, it may increase the risk of developing serious mental health issues like anxiety, depression, etc.

It can also aggravate the conditions of psychiatric patients struggling with mental health issues, such as bipolar depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, etc. Despite being treatable, sleep disorders are one of the widely prevalent and overlooked problems around the world. In fact, it has been estimated that nearly 50 to 70 million Americans chronically suffer from a sleep or circadian disorder.

For long, sleep disorders were considered merely as one of the symptoms of mental disorders. However, innumerable evidences suggest that sleep disorders may in reality contribute to mental disorders. With sleep-related problems afflicting 50 to 80 percent of the patients, one cannot fail to recognize the close association between sleep disorders and mental disorders.

Why is sleep so essential?

The importance of “sleep” has been lucidly highlighted by William Shakespeare in the Act II Scene II of Macbeth, “Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care; The death of each day’s life, sore labors bath; Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course; Chief nourisher in life’s feast.”

Here the legendary writer and playwright Shakespeare is trying to convey that a proper sleep enables a person in overcoming confused ideas and a good sleep is all that one needs to heal the hurt mind and alleviate all worries. Therefore, deprivation of sleep is a major risk factor associated with the development of various problems and diseases.

Sleep disorders, including a range of problems like sleep loss, sleep-disordered breathing, insomnia, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome (RLS), parasomnias, sleep-related psychiatric disorders, etc., affect millions of people leading to a number of motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, and medical and other occupational errors.

In fact, people who experience insufficient sleep are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, depression and obesity. The lack of sleep can adversely affect a person’s mood and behavior. Inadequate sleep is also associated with excessive mental distress, symptoms of depression, anxiety and alcohol use, as well as problems related to cognitive or motor functions.

Influence of sleep deficiency on mental health

Most people who do not get enough sleep are likely to experience poor mental health outcomes. Inadequate sleep can take a toll on their cognitive health by affecting memory and learning capabilities. Below are some of the points highlighting the effects of chronic sleep deprivation on one’s mental health.

  • Sleep deprivation can decrease one’s concentration, alertness and judgment-making ability. It hampers one’s focus and attention that makes it difficult for him or her to perform complex and logical tasks.
  • Several studies have highlighted the essence of sleep in strengthening one’s memory. Different patterns of sleep have play a key role in building up information into memories. And when there is a disruption in sleep, these memory building cycles are likely to get affected.
  • Lack of sleep can alter one’s mood significantly, thereby decreasing his or her ability to cope with stress. Over time, this issue can turn into a chronic problem that may affect one’s job or relationships. Moreover, the chronic loss of sleep can also put one at a greater risk of developing depression.

Don’t fall apart

Apart from sleeping in complete darkness to ensure effective production of melatonin and serotonin, other healthy sleeping habits that one can follow are:

  • Maintaining optimal room temperature
  • Keeping alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from bed
  • Avoiding loud alarm clocks
  • Considering separate bedrooms if the bed partner snores
  • Avoiding television, Internet or texting in bed
  • Practicing mind-calming activities
  • Exercising regularly

For more inquiries pertaining to sleep issues and mental health disorder treatment centers in Arizona offering effective programs that can help one in regaining control over his or her life, contact the Texas Mental Health Recovery Helpline. Chat online or reach us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-596-4708 to know about some of the evidence-based mental health disorders treatment in Texas

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