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The Connection Between Sleep and Mental Health

Sleep problems can be a cause and a symptom for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Many people know sleep problems can be a symptom of mental illness, but not everyone realizes that sleep issues can also cause mood disorders. These two are so deeply intertwined it’s hard to know which one is to blame:

– Sleep problems are more likely to affect patients with mental disorders
– Sleep problems may increase the risk for developing particular mental illnesses
– Treating a sleep disorder may help alleviate the symptoms of a mental health problem

Sleep as a Symptom

Sleep issues are often a symptom of depression and other disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobic disorders. It can even be a symptom of schizophrenia.

Sleep as a Cause

Sleep is as important to our health as eating, drinking and breathing. Therefore, when you have insomnia, it can lead to mental disorders. Sleeplessness can disrupt the levels of essential neurotransmitters in the brain. When these levels are thrown into disarray, illnesses such as anxiety and depression can arise.

Tips for Better Sleep

  1. Meditation
  2. Take a warm bath
  3. Ban your phone or tablet before bed
  4. Turn down the thermostat
  5. Sleep with socks on
  6. Herbal treatments like melatonin
  7. Change eating and drinking habits
  8. Change exercise routine

Treating Both Conditions

Because mood disorders can overlap with sleep problems, solving one problem may diminish the other. The benefit of this is that the two can be treated simultaneously. For example, a prescription treatment can be given for a mental condition while cognitive behavior therapy can treat sleep issues.

Find a Treatment Program

Because mental health issues require immediate treatment, specialized programs are in place to get patients back on their feet. Treatment is the only way to get past the illness because it cannot cure itself. Once you reach recovery, it’s important to take extra care that you are getting enough sleep and avoid a relapse. If you are ready to take the first step toward better mental health, contact us for information on a specially tailored treatment plan.