How Sleep Deprivation Impacts Mental Health

Sleep is an essential part of health, so when individuals obtain inadequate amounts of sleep, their bodies and minds suffer. Though the physical detrimental effects of sleep deprivation are well documented, sleep deprivation also impacts mental health. Over time, lack of sleep will necessitate sleep deprivation treatment.

If you worry that you suffer from the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation or would like to block them before they arise, take a look at this overview of the relationship between these two phenomena.

How Sleep Deprivation Impacts Mental Health

Most individuals recognize that they typically feel better after a full night’s sleep. This effect is due to the intimate relationship between attaining adequate sleep and maintaining good mental health.

Studies have shown that insufficient sleep can increase the presence of negative emotions while decreasing positive emotions. If sleep is continually neglected, these patterns can lead to long-term health impacts.

This relationship is due in part to the fact that sleep helps to maintain many of the body’s important physiological systems, including the nervous system. The sleep cycle also impacts cognitive skills, memory, attention, and learning.

The Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Psychiatric Disorders

Chronic poor sleep can lead to the development or worsening of severe psychological disorders. In addition, insomnia can be an indicator that a more serious psychological disorder is present or developing. Such disorders include suicidal ideation, severe anxiety, and depression. People who are not typically prone to these conditions can develop them following long periods of poor sleep.

For those who already face these issues, sleep deprivation can further exacerbate their problems and contribute to a worsening of their condition. For this reason, maintaining a consistent and healthy sleep schedule is essential for those with chronic mental health problems.

Variability in Sleep Needs

The amount of sleep required varies from individual to individual due to age, genetic predisposition, and other factors.
For instance, there is some difference in the amount of sleep that adults, children, and teens need. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that healthy adults receive approximately 7 hours of sleep to maintain optimal mental and physical health. Conversely, they recommend teenagers and children obtain more sleep, around 8-10 hours a day, to maintain high levels of functioning.

Your mental health and overall sense of well-being are impacted not only by the length of time you sleep but also by the quality of that sleep. Quality of sleep is partly influenced by chronotype, which refers to your body’s natural inclination to sleep at a certain time. Chronotype is the basis for the concepts of night owls and morning larks, who are more inclined to be awake and active in the night and during the day, respectively. These inclinations can change throughout your life and are influenced by many factors, including genetics, age, and lifestyle.

Habits For Promoting Healthy Sleep

There are lifestyle and dietary habits you can adopt to encourage healthy sleep patterns in your life. These healthy habits can significantly improve your ability to attain the healthy levels of sleep that you need.

In some cases, nutritional deficiencies—a lack of essential vitamins A, C, D, and K, for example—can lead to the development of sleep issues. Low levels of fiber and consuming high levels of saturated fat and sugar can also negatively impact one’s sleep schedule. If you suffer from sleep issues, you should take extra care to meet your nutritional needs so as to avoid exacerbating your sleep issues.

New York’s Source for Sleep Aid

Sleep MD NYC is one of the best clinics in NYC for treating sleep issues of all kinds. If you are experiencing sleep issues and want to discuss your situation with an expert, contact our sleep center today to make an appointment.

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