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Sleep and mental health go hand-in-hand. Sleep deprivation affects mental health. People that have a hard time falling asleep might have insomnia or other sleep disorders. 50-80% of patients in a psychiatric practice suffer from chronic sleep issues compared to 10-18% of adults in the general population. Experts have found that people with anxiety, depression, bipolar, and ADHD typically have sleeping problems as well.
Sleep problems can raise the risk for developing psychiatric disorders. Doctors are still trying to understand the relationship between mental health and sleep, but with the current technology we have of neuroimaging and neurochemistry, it can tell us a lot. These studies with neuroimaging and neurochemistry shows getting good quality sleep can help mental and emotional resilience, while sleep deprivation can cause negative thinking and emotional vulnerability. Keep reading to find out why sleeping well is essential for your mental health.
Why Sleep is Important for Mental Health
There are two major cycles of sleep. There is the Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) and the Rapid Eye Movement (REM). NREM is known as quiet sleep, while REM is known as active sleep. Every 90 minutes, a normal sleeper cycles between NREM and REM. During NREM, a sleeper cycles through four stages of deep sleep. The deepest sleep in this cycle boosts the immune system.
During REM, people can dream. REM sleep can help with learning and memory and can help emotional health. Insomnia can increase the effects of mental disorders, and vice versa. There are more than 70 types of sleep disorders that are currently known, so it can be very common. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, along with obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy. Researchers have found that mental health disorders and sleep disorders may have common biological roots as many people struggle with sleep disorders usually have other family members who struggle with it as well.
How to Improve Your Mental Health and Sleep
Some sleeping disorders may require psychotherapy, medications, and also lifestyle changes. One lifestyle change is to make sure your bed frame and mattress are comfortable enough. A dm9000s bed frame is adjustable, which makes sleep more comfortable. This can greatly improve the quality of sleep you get each night which affects your overall mental health.
Sleep disruption can disrupt thinking and emotional regulation. Nicotine can speed up the heart rate and thinking. It’s best to not take in nicotine before bedtime. It would be best to get rid of both substances completely. Physical exercise such as aerobics can help people fall asleep faster. Also, aerobics can improve deep sleep and decreases the chance of waking up in the middle of the night. Good Sleep hygiene such as going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day can help as well. Some experts recommend staying up a little bit longer to make sure the sleep is restful.
Another lifestyle change is to cut back on any alcohol or nicotine intake. Alcohol can make people feel depressed, which affects the nervous system and can make people fall asleep but quickly wake back up. This can lead to bad sleep overall which you will notice has an affect on your daily routine and overall energy throughout the day.
Trying too hard to fall asleep will create a vicious cycle of anxiety and nerve-wracking energy that keeps the mind awake. There are various types of sleeping techniques that can help people fall asleep. There is a military method that can make someone fall asleep in 10 seconds. By relaxing the entire face, dropping the shoulders, releasing tension, and relaxing your chest, anyone can fall asleep in 10 seconds. A 60-second technique is the 4-7-8 breathing method. By using mindful breathing techniques, anyone can fall asleep in 60 seconds.
Other techniques include visualization, image distraction, meditation music, staying awake, or muscle relaxation methods. Meditation can also help with mental health and sleep. Meditation helps mental health by improving focus, concentration, self-awareness, self-esteem, and lowers stress and anxiety levels. Meditation teaches people how to be kind and be in the moment. Meditation can help reduce the need for sleeping pills. It can help sleep by improving insomnia symptoms and can be used as a sleeping technique. Deep breathing techniques and progressive muscle relaxation can help with anxiety and racing thoughts before sleeping.
Falling asleep is something many Americans struggle with. Many may also have sleep disorders such as insomnia or narcolepsy. Improving your sleep with healthier life choices, sleep medications, or sleeping techniques will all help people get the rest that they need. Meditation is a tool and technique that can help mental health and sleep problems. Trying new techniques and seeing which one works best can improve mental health and sleep issues. Your sleep is of the utmost importance so you should take it seriously and do what you can to get quality sleep as much as you can this year.