• The Sound Sleeper

Get more sleep to help improve your mental health

There’s a direct link between poor sleep and mental health issues, with studies showing you can improve one by improving the other. 

When sleep problems come first

Sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy, and apnea, can lead to the development of serious mental health issues. These include mood swings, grumpiness, irregular emotional reactivity, depressed mood and depression. Just one night of poor sleep affects the brain’s ability to properly control emotions and negative thoughts. However, chronic sleep deprivation leads to exhaustion and can increase your risk for developing deadly chronic health conditions.

When mental health problems come first

On the other hand, mental health illnesses can lead to poor sleep quality or insomnia, which is defined as difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. While assessing the quality of your mental health, medical professionals will often ask about the state of your sleep. With these questions, they’re looking for potential clues on how to help you manage mental health issues.

The dynamic relationship

Poor sleep and mental health issues frequently come hand-in-hand. Recent studies report fewer than 20% of mental health patients don’t suffer from sleep problems. On the bright side, studies also show that improving one can help improve the other. To avoid the development or worsening of these issues, it’s important to speak with a physician about potential sleep issues.

Do you struggle to fall asleep? Try these:

  • Avoid heavy meals, alcohol, and caffeine 3-4 hours before bed. This helps reduce your chances of tossing and turning over indigestion, upset stomach, heart burn, and stomach cramps. 
  • Practice deep breathing techniques in bed or 30 minutes prior. this helps slow a racing mind and reduce anxiety. In fact, to fully reap the benefits of mindfulness we recommend you practice 5-10 minutes of deep breathing every day. 
  • If you find your self awake after 20 minutes, get out of bed and do a simple task. Try folding laundry or light stretching for a few minutes before trying again.

Mental Health and Sleep Webinar

Explore the impact sleep has on your mental health with Shannon Cyr, Vice President of Care Operations.

Shannon has over 25 years of experience in the fields of counseling and social work.