How Does Lack of Sleep Affects Mental Health?

sleep affects mental health

Lack of sleep or insomnia is a widespread problem among people worldwide. According to the research, an estimated 30% of the world’s population goes through insomnia. Even people having no linkage with this problem also face issues in sleeping. In the research carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of the grown-ups in the USA don’t get the recommended amount of sleep at night. Keeping these factors in mind, it is crucial to understand how sleep affects mental health and wellbeing.

Relationship Between Sleep and Mental Health:

Sleep and mental health studies suggest a complex relationship between lack of sleep and mental health. While lack of sleep affects mental health, recent research says that sleep can cause different mental health issues. In simpler words, an irregular sleeping pattern can lead to mental health concerns, but some mental problems can get worse because of sleep. Although, the researchers are not entirely sure about the reasons behind this. If you have trouble sleeping, it’s time for you to consult a doctor. Lack of sleep can be severe and badly affect your health, so it’s better to ask for help before it’s too late.

How does sleep affect wellbeing? It’s not difficult to observe the link between sleep and mental health. Lack of sleep affects mental health and leaves you with a feeling of exhaustion, irritation, and stress. Sometimes, these issues can be a short time, but in actuality, lack of sleep can affect your mental wellbeing in the long run too. Besides that, insomnia affects your physical health and can lead to various concerns like heart diseases, diabetes, and skin problems. 

Lack of Sleep Side Effects:

Sleep and mental health statistics show how lack of sleep can cause different mental conditions and neurological disorders. Some of the most common mental and behavioral disorders caused by the lack of sleep are:

  • Recession:

According to research, more than 300 million people worldwide are going through anxiety and recession. It is a type of mental disorder that makes you feel sad, hopeless, and anxious. It is found that around 75% of recessed people are insomniacs, while the remaining 25% are the ones suffering from hypersomnia (excessive sleep during daytime).

Historically, it was known that sleeping issues could be caused because of the recession, but the present studies suggest that poor sleep can cause a recession. In simpler words, irregular sleeping patterns can worsen the recession and result from new types of depression. For instance, people having improved sleep are at a lesser risk of recession.

Manic Depressive IllnessIn Manic Depressive Illness, a person suffers from extreme moods. Either he becomes super active or super low – causing a mental imbalance. In such a disorder, the symptoms are different for every person depending on the episode they are going through. In MDI, the sleeping pattern changes drastically depending on the patient’s mind. When a patient feels manic, he feels less sleepy, but he may need excessive sleep when he’s low/depressed.

Recent studies suggest that people having bipolar disorder or MDI experience a lot of variation in their sleeping patterns before the onset of an episode. 

  • Psychosis susceptibility syndrome:

It is a mental health disorder in which a person finds difficulty differentiating between reality and thoughts. Patients have Psychosis susceptibility syndrome are more likely to experience circadian rhythm disorders and insomnia. Sleeping problems may get worsen due to the medication used for treating PSS.

  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD):

In this type of mental disorder, the patient gets impulsive, and his attention capacity is reduced. It is most commonly visible in children, but adults can experience it too. Sleeping problems are widespread in this type of disorder. The patients face a lot of difficulty falling asleep and experience excessive sleepiness during the daytime. In people with Attention deficit disorder, obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are commonly observed. Studies have confirmed this problem to be observed primarily in children, but it doesn’t mean that adults can have it. The sleep problems caused by such a disorder can further affect the patient’s behavioral health.

  • Winter Depression/Seasonal Affective Disorder:

It is the sub-type of depression that is commonly seen in people affected during the time of the year when daylight hours are reduced. For example, people in northern climates tend to experience seasonal affective disorder during the winter season. 

  • Anxiety Disorders:

Every year, more than 25% of teenagers and 20% of adults get affected by anxiety. Anxiety is a serious concern, and it involves a person’s everyday life and causes various health problems. Anxiety can be social anxiety, panic issues, multiple phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), etc.

All anxiety disorders have a strong connection with sleep, and sleep affects mental health and can be the prime reason for almost every other cognitive concern. The state of fear and being worried can be the reason for hyperarousal, which is considered the major contributor to insomnia. 

  • Asperger Syndrome:

It is a mental disorder that encompasses various neurological concerns affecting the patient’s communication and social interaction. AS is usually diagnosed in childhood and may persist with adulting. Children or adults having this disorder have a higher risk of having the sleep issues such as insomnia or disordered breathing. In ordinary people, these concerns are not very common. But people with Asperger Syndrome have the worst symptoms and quality of life. Treating insomnia, excessive sleepiness, and other sleep disturbances is essential for people with Asperger Syndrome.

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