Missing out on quality sleep daily doesn’t only lead to dark and puffy eyes, weight problems, and unproductivity; at worse, sleep deprivation also contributes to mental health disorders.
If you believe that sleep is for the weak, you might not notice that your lack of sleep is taking a toll on your mental health. More than a luxury, sleep is a need – an essential for helping the body repair and restore itself.
Lack of sleep does more than just impairing your sound judgment, mood, work performance and productivity, it is also:
- Slowing down your thought process,
- Impairing your concentration and memory,
- Decreasing your ability to learn, and
- Slowing down your reaction time.
Inadequate sleep is both a symptom and a cause of mental health problems which often include:
Sleep disruption contributes to depression and vice versa. For these two, each one is both a symptom and also a cause. At present, depression isn’t only experienced by adults, even children and adolescents experience them as well.
Lack of sleep due to sleeping disorders also increase one’s risk of developing depression. As compared to depressed patients with normal sleep, depressed patients who experience insomnia are more likely to succumb to suicidal tendencies.
One of the many triggers of bipolar mood episodes is the lack of sleep due to the disruption of normal sleeping patterns. Insufficient sleep often results in intense mood swings. However, sleep problems can also be a symptom of bipolar disorder.
People suffering from bipolar disorder may experience either hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness) or insomnia (sleeplessness). Additionally, bipolar depression or mania often worsen difficulties in sleeping while the lack of sleep triggers manic episodes.
Insufficient sleep increases the risks of anxiety disorders by increasing activity in the human brain’s limbic system, the part responsible for the regulation of emotions. Worriers, specifically, are more vulnerable to poor-sleep induced anxiety.
Insomnia or sleeplessness is also one of the factors that lead to the development of anxiety disorders. More than paving the way for anxiety disorders, insomnia can also prevent one’s recovery from anxiety by worsening the symptoms.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD and sleeping difficulties are closely associated that sometimes their symptoms are difficult to tell apart. ADHD can occur both in children and adults. However, the symptoms may differ for each.
In children, sleep problems may lead to hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and emotional instability – even without the ADHD diagnosis. However, for adults, symptoms of ADHD may come in the form of sleep problems like hypersomnia and narcolepsy.
According to a 2014 study by an international team of researchers at the University of Bonn and King’s College London, sleeplessness, specifically twenty-four hours of sleep deficit, can make a healthy person experience symptoms similar to schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a condition where one loses contact with reality and starts to have hallucinations, thought disorders, misperceptions, and delusions. Because sleep disorders and mental illnesses are co-morbid, lack of sleep can worsen schizophrenia.
There are different factors why you may be having difficulties in getting enough sleep daily. It can be due to your work schedule, life stresses, sleeping disorders, physical disturbances, noise, bedroom lighting, or the quality of your mattress. If you think your mattress is causing you to miss out on the sleep you deserve, invest in a gel memory foam mattress today.
The quality of your sleep matters in your mental health the same way your mattress matters in your sleep. Care for your mental health, don’t lose your snooze each night!