Sleep is important not only for physical health but mental health as well. Sleep has close links to several mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and several others. The relationship between sleep and mental health is bidirectional, meaning insufficient sleep can promote or worsen mental health conditions just as mental health conditions can cause insufficient sleep (Mental Health and Sleep, 2020).

Sleep is the time for your body and mind to rest and recharge. Sleep is important because this is when your emotional processing takes place. 

Insufficient sleep can cause:

-Emotional Instability

-Effects on Mood

-Increased Sensitivity

-Irritability

-Increased Cortisol Levels = Increased Stress (Sleep and Mental Health, 2022)

Mental health benefits of sleep include:

  • Good sleep can help with mental illnesses

Mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression along with several others can cause insomnia. Good sleep can combat insomnia decrease levels of anxiety and depression. 

  • Sleep can improve attention

When you become sleep deprived your reaction time decreases, but having good Uninterrupted sleep will help improve alertness and attention. This is especially important for those who already experience a deficit in attention, such as ADHD.

  •  Sleep can improve memory and learning 

 Sleep is the time your brain stores the information that was learned during the day. Lack of sleep can interrupt this process and cause easier memory loss the day after. For example, lack of sleep can cause one to make silly mistakes like forgetting to grab your lunch or lock your car door (Benefits of Sleep, 2021). 

Resources 

Mental health and sleep. Sleep Foundation. (2020, September 18). Retrieved February 16, 2022, from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/mental-health

Sleep and mental health: Why our brains need sleep. Primary Care Collaborative. (2022, February 16). Retrieved February 16, 2022, from https://www.pcpcc.org/resource/sleep-and-mental-health-why-our-brains-need-sleep

Three surprising mental health benefits of sleep. SuicideLine Victoria. (2021, June 29). Retrieved February 16, 2022, from https://suicideline.org.au/mental-health/three-surprising-mental-health-benefits-of-sleep/

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