The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep On Your Mental Health


a man and woman lying in bed

Not getting a good night’s sleep can pave the way towards an exhausting and inefficient day ahead of you. Lack of sleep can cause daytime dozing, irritability, and difficulty concentrating on important tasks. There are many reasons people aren’t getting enough sleep at night. New parents find themselves awake every couple of hours thanks to their new little bundle. Missing a few nights occasionally of quality shut-eye can be irksome, however, multiple times a week could mean there’s an issue you need to address. Sleep is crucial for maintaining a healthy and productive lifestyle. If you’re not getting sufficient hours of rest you need, it might be time to find out the reason. Here’s why getting a good night’s sleep is important for your mental health.

In the last few years, America has seen growing numbers of coffee consumption. Whether it’s gourmet brews or french pressed at home, 85 percent of Americans are enjoying something caffeinated. About 20 billion dollars a year are spent on coffee around the world. One major component in coffee is caffeine. It can be found in foods like chocolate, tea, energy drinks, and even some medication. Caffeine is a natural stimulant and used in some headache medicines and concentrated doses of OTC products, specifically advertised to keep people awake. Downing a warm cup of hot cocoa before bed may seem like a cozy idea, however, common side effects are nervousness, fast heart rate, and stomach issues. Gastrointestinal problems can keep you up at night too from consuming spicy food that causes acid build-up and stomach discomfort.

Anxiety is a common problem that affects about 40 million people in the US. Besides having multiple issues in addition to anxiety such as eating disorders, chronic pain, and sleep disorders. Normal sleeping patterns are interrupted causing problems waking up or falling asleep. Chronic sleeping  difficulties can affect your performance at school and work but it can create more severe risks such as raising your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and obesity. Personal relationships suffer as well without proper sleep. Daytime drowsiness can cause accidents on the road if the driver is drifting off to sleep. Medications to keep people alert who suffer from daytime sleepiness conditions like narcolepsy or shift work sleep disorder can help reduce work and driving accidents. Some scientific studies link poor sleeping itself with causing major mental health issues. A sleep-deprived mind also showed more heightened responses in different situations such as the “flight or fight” feeling.

There are a few options you can discuss with knowledgeable therapists in NYC to get to the root of sleep troubles. CBT is a form of therapy that helps reshape a patient’s thinking by identifying what is causing a lack of sleep. Changing your bedtime routine, for example, by eliminating stimulating behaviors like watching television or working on a laptop in bed may help. Other helpful tips may include going to bed at the same time every night, relaxation techniques like gentle yoga or meditation to calm the mind. Natural OTC sleep aids like melatonin (a naturally occurring hormone) or chamomile tea used before bed can often assist in more natural and restful sleep.

Spending the night at a sleep disorder testing center lets doctors observe sleeping habits that could be attributed to more insomnia troubles. Sleep apnea or unknown allergies could be causing interrupted sleep. Working together with medical doctors and therapists, a treatment program is created for the patient’s specific needs. Sleeping aides may be a last resort as a short term aid to assist a patient suffering from extreme insomnia to rest. For more severe mental health diseases such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, mood-stabilizing medications may be prescribed to regulate irregular brain activity.