Importance of Sleep on Mental Health

While it’s often not a valued way to spend time, sleep is an important aspect of overall health and wellness. It is a time for our bodies to rest and repair while our brains process information from the day and encode memories. REM sleep is particularly restorative and helps maintain emotional health. For adults, seven to eight hours of sleep a night seems to be optimal, however, there is a wide variance. Some people may need just five hours, whereas others do best on 10 hours of sleep.

There is a connection between quality of sleep and mental health. People with trouble sleeping often also have mental health issues. Some sleep problems increase the risk for mental illness, while other times it’s the mental illness that causes sleep problems. Depression is connected so closely that it can sometimes be hard to tell which came first. Sleep issues can also increase the severity of an existing mental illness.

Lack of sleep will negatively affect mood. It can cause irritability and confusion. It reduces the ability to deal with stress, rationalize anxieties, and combat negative thoughts.

Social Connectedness
People who are tired and fatigued are less likely to visit with friends and family or engage in other leisure activities. This can create a sense of isolation, loneliness, and meaninglessness.

Healthful Habits
Those who experience chronic sleepiness are less likely to eat healthy or exercise. Eating healthy and exercising not only affect physical health, they also contribute to improved mental health.

To know if you’re getting enough sleep, think about how you feel. You should feel rested when you wake up in the morning and have sufficient energy to get through your day. Make a regular sleep routine a priority to gain the benefits of a healthy sleep cycle on your mental health.

report has shown that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be more effective than medication in dealing with insomnia. OCCS provides comprehensive counselling services as well as a wide variety of specialty programs, subsidies, and workshops to best help our patients. Our counsellors specialize in concerns such as depression, anxiety, and more. Please contact us today to learn more about our services, weekend/evening appointments, and sliding fee scale.  Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services had three locations throughout the Okanagan in Penticton, Kelowna, and West Kelowna for your convenience.

This blog post was written by OCCS Clinical Counsellor:

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