Sleep and Mental Health


Sujata suffers from depression. She has no energy to perform any activity. Even sitting down makes her feel numb. Since she feels so detached, she has started taking long naps. She can sleep up to 14 hours a day. 

Oishi suffers from insomnia. She was stressed and had an irregular sleeping pattern. This led to almost zero sleep. The lack of her sleep made her irritated and she developed depression. 

From the two stories, what did you find?

In the first story, bad mental health led to a bad sleeping pattern. In the second one, bad sleeping habits triggered depression. 

Sleep and mental health are connected. It’s a two-way road.

When it comes to understanding the connection between the two, you need to know why sleep is important for us. REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) and sleep in general, help to process mental activities, such as increasing memory and attention, understanding emotional information, and more. In short, sleep helps to create a more positive mindset by keeping the biological functions stable. 

If you have bad sleeping habits, this can create mood swings and reduced productivity. People with such habits can develop any mental health issues because our minds need time to shut down. When they don’t receive that, they start functioning differently. 

Similarly, if you already have mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety, you develop unstable sleeping patterns. Often people with depression start taking frequent naps, also known as ‘depression naps’. Sometimes they can even not get the urge to sleep at all and they develop insomnia.

How to Fix sleeping Pattern

When it comes to fixing sleeping patterns, the simple ‘close your eyes for a few minutes to fall asleep doesn’t work. Similarly, saying ‘splash water on your face to keep yourself awake when you feel like sleeping too much’ will not work either. 

We all know that at least 8 hours of sleep is necessary for a grown adult. But if you are having a hard time crossing even half that time or sleeping more than necessary, you need to make certain changes in life. 

Firstly, consulting a doctor will help. They will be able to diagnose your issues and prescribe necessary medicine. Moreover, you can make small lifestyle changes, such as exercising in the morning, cutting off alcohol and caffeine, and staying away from electronics at least an hour before sleep. 

Remember that changing sleeping patterns and sticking to a new routine takes time. Some days you will not adhere to the routine but that doesn’t mean your prior successful days weren’t fruitful.

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