How Does Sleep Disorder Affect Mental Health?

It’s a well-known fact that sleep assumes a significant function in great physical and emotional wellness. Sleep Disorder can leave you feeling touchy and depleted temporarily, yet it can likewise have genuine long-haul wellbeing outcomes too. The absence of rest is connected to various horrible wellbeing outcomes including coronary illness, type 2 diabetes, and depression. 

Some psychiatric conditions can cause sleep problems, and sleep disturbances can also exacerbate the symptoms of many mental conditions including depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

The Relationship Between Sleep and Mental Health

Research suggests that the relationship between sleep and mental health is mind-boggling. While sleep has long been known to be a consequence of many psychiatric conditions, more recent views suggest that sleep can also play a causal role in both the development and maintenance of different mental health problems.

In other words, sleep problems can lead to changes in mental health, but mental health conditions can also worsen problems with sleep. Lack of sleep may trigger the onset of certain psychological conditions, although researchers are not completely certain of the underlying reasons for this. Because of this circular relationship between your sleep patterns and your mental state, it is important to talk to your doctor if you are having problems falling or staying asleep.

Stress and Sleep Disorder

If you’ve ever struggled to get through the day after a night of tossing and turning, you are well-acquainted with the disruptive effects of sleep deprivation. Mood changes including increased irritability and anger can make it much harder to cope with even the minor stresses of daily life.

Poor sleep can make it much more difficult to cope with even relatively minor stress. Daily hassles can turn into major sources of frustration. You may wind up inclining fatigued, irritable, and baffled by ordinary inconveniences. Poor sleep itself can even turn into a source of stress. You might know that you need to get a good night’s sleep, but then find yourself worrying that you won’t be able to fall or stay asleep every evening.

 Related: Warning: Be careful of Stress!

Depression and Sleep Disorder

Insomnia and other sleep problems can be a symptom of depression, but more recently, research has implicated lack of sleep in actually causing depression.

One analysis of 21 different studies found that people who experience insomnia have a two-fold risk of developing depression over those who do not have problems sleeping. The question then is whether helping people improve their sleep might lessen their chances of developing depression.

Related: Depression Can Be Cured

Researchers suggest that addressing insomnia early-on may be an effective preventative measure to help reduce the risk of depression, although more study into this possibility is needed.

Treating insomnia is an important way to help improve psychological health, and the possibility that such treatments may also be an effective tool for preventing or even treating mental health problems is promising.

In a study looking at more than 3,700 participants, researchers investigated the impact of poor sleep on symptoms of depression, anxiety, and paranoia.

Some of the members were treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for their insomnia, while others did not receive any treatment. The researchers found that those who had received CBT also showed significant reductions in depression, anxiety, paranoia, and nightmares. They also reported improved overall well-being, including their capacity to work at home and work.

Anxiety and Sleep Disorder

Likewise, with numerous other mental conditions, the relationship between sleep and anxiety appears to go both directions. People with anxiety tend to experience more sleep disturbances, but experiencing sleep deprivation can also contribute to feelings of anxiety. This can turn into a cycle that propagates both sleep and anxiety issues.

Adapting to feelings of anxiety can be that much more difficult when you are tired from chronic sleep disturbances. Because of this, poor sleep can make the symptoms of anxiety disorders more terrible. For example, sleep deprivation is not only a common symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affecting between 80% to 90% of people with the condition. It is also believed to play a role in both the development and maintenance of this disorder.

However, even otherwise healthy people can experience negative mental health effects of poor sleep. For example, one study found that acute sleep deprivation led to an increase in anxiety and distress levels in healthy adults. So while you might not even if you normally do not experience a great deal of anxiety, poor sleep may leave you feeling agitated and distraught.

Related: Social Anxiety Disorder

Bipolar Disorder and Sleep Disorder

Sleep disturbances are very common among people with bipolar disorder. Such issues can incorporate sleep deprivation, insomnia, irregular sleep-wake cycles, and nightmares. Bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating periods of depressed and elevated moods.

Sleep changes can be a symptom of the condition, but sleep problems can also play a role in the course of the condition, treatment outcomes, and the individual’s overall quality of life.

Reduced sleep can also cause symptoms of mania or hypomania. Research suggests that changes in the normal sleep/wake cycle preceded the onset of a manic episode in 25% to 65% of participants. If you have bipolar disorder, be sure to talk to your doctor about any sleep difficulties that you may be having.

Related: Bipolar Disorder & Relationships

ADHD and Sleep Disorder

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common psychiatric condition, affecting as many as 5.3% of children between the ages of six and 17 years old. ADHD is associated with sleep problems, and research also suggests that sleep disturbances may be a predictor or even a contributor to symptoms of the condition. Studies have found that between 25% and 55% of children who have ADHD also experience sleep disturbances.

Children with ADHD may experience many sleep-related problems including difficulty falling or staying asleep, difficulty waking, sleep breathing issues, night waking, and daytime sleepiness.

ADHD treatment frequently begins with an assessment of current sleep habits and patterns in order to address underlying sleep problems. Studies have found that sleep interventions can help improve the severity of ADHD symptoms in addition to improving the overall quality of life.

Related: ADHD: Everything Need to Know

Finding support 

Fortunately, because sleep problems are typically viewed as modifiable danger factors for some conditions, finding ways to improve sleep quality and quantity can be helpful in relieving the symptoms of these mental disorders. This does not mean that getting more sleep is a cure or quick-fix, however improving rest can be a significant piece of a far-reaching treatment plan.

Research has also shown that psychological treatments can be helpful for treating some sleep disorders. One study, for example, found that internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) was helpful for relieving symptoms of insomnia.

If you have been struggling with a sleep problem or are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, converse with your PCP or your psychiatrist at Kazmo Brain Center about your treatment options. The doctor may want to conduct a sleep study in order to get a better look at your nighttime sleep patterns. They can then recommend treatments that are appropriate for any underlying sleep disturbance that might be impairing your ability to rest. Treating your sleep issues early is important for protecting both your physical and mental well-being.

Coping with Sleep Disorder:

In addition to seeking help from medical professionals, Kazmo Brain Center recommends taking steps to improve your sleep such as:

  • Limit napping. Too much sleep during the day can have an effect on your ability to fall or stay asleep at night. Naps of 20 to 30 minutes a day can help you feel more alert and rested without interrupting your nightly sleep.
  • Establish a nightly routine. Stick to a set of habits that help prepare you for rest each night. Take a bath, read a book, or practice a few minutes of meditation to calm your body. Repeat these routines each night to help set the mood for a solid night’s sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine or stimulants too close to bedtime. Consuming coffee, soda, or other caffeinated products in the late afternoon or evening can make it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Turn off your devices. Watching television or playing on your phone at bedtime can make it more difficult to relax and settle down for sleep. Try setting limits on when you quit using your devices before bed.
  • Talk to a mental health professional if you suspect that your sleep problems might be caused by or contributing to a mental health condition. Depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders can interfere with sleep—but addressing your sleep problems may also have a positive impact on your psychological symptoms.

If lifestyle changes do not relieve sleep problems, our doctors may recommend psychotherapy and medications.

Kazmo Brain Center is a counseling center in Frisco, Texas specializing in mental health and will work with you toward a happier and more satisfying position. If you or your loved ones are facing a sleep disorder and you think that you need help, Request an appointment at the Kazmo Brain Center and we are here to help.