Mental Illness and Sleep

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It is widely known that sleep plays a huge part on your overall well-being, including mental health. Inadvertently, mental illness Also may affect your sleep and spiral down to affecting your overall health as well. This is why I believe it is very important to understand the correlation between mental illness and sleep, and most importantly, what a healthy sleep life looks like.

How is mental health-related to sleep?

Many mental health problems are associated with sleep issues such as insomnia or even hypersomnia. Most notably, depression, anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorder. Other mental health illnesses like schizophrenia, ADHD, and even autism, can cause sleep apnea and/or sleep-disordered breathing.

The situation seems to worsen when mental health conditions combine. For example, someone with depression and anxiety may experience more sleep troubles than someone with just depression or anxiety.

What a Healthy Sleep Life Looks Like

Healthy sleep should be 8 hours a day, with you refraining from being in a stressful situation or looking at any technology at least fifteen minutes before bed. A set bedtime should also be in place, as well as a great ambiance that includes complete quietness or white noise, complete darkness or dimmed lights, and proper support (bedding). Healthy sleep should also consist of not waking up in the middle of the night, even for bathroom or water breaks.

With all of that being said, everything goes hand in hand. As mentioned, sleep issues usually accompany mental illness; however, it doesn’t mean you are stuck with it for the rest of your life. If you believe you are suffering from inadequate sleep due to a mental health disorder and seek solutions, you must bring this up with your mental health professional. They can best direct you to your next steps.

Resources: “Mental Health and Sleep” by Sleep Foundation

“Sleep Deprivation can affect your mental health” By Harvard Health Publishing

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