How Sleep Affects Your Mental Health

Top,Above,High,Angle,View,Photo,Of,Young,Man,HappyIf you notice changes in your mood and behavior after a rough night of sleep, you’re not alone. Sleep has a major effect on mental health, and working to create good sleep hygiene can go a long way in helping you feel your best. From stress management to depression treatment, there are many reasons why sleep is an important aspect of psychological well-being.

Today, we’ll take a look at what you need to know about the connection between sleep and mental health.

Sleep and Your Brain

Your brain works hard all day, making decisions you don’t notice. From deciding what time to leave for work to remembering the route to reminding your heart to keep beating, your brain is always at work. When you’re sleeping, your brain can relax and reset.

During sleep, your brain resets for the following day. During this time, it can create new pathways that set your brain up for learning, paying attention, making decisions, solving problems, and being creative during your waking hours.

What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

When you don’t get enough high-quality sleep, it can be challenging for your brain to function at a high level the following day. Many people find it harder to control their emotions and behaviors the day after a poor night of sleep. These issues can compound after going several nights without sleep. People who are sleep-deficient may notice an increase in risk-taking behavior and depression and may be at a higher risk of suicide.

How Much Sleep is Necessary for Optimal Health?

The amount of sleep needed to function best differs from person to person, and it’s essential to pay attention to how much sleep allows you to feel your best. You may find that you need more or less sleep at certain times in your life (for example, you may need more sleep while working long hours or dealing with a heavy college courseload).

How Sleep Helps Your Mental Health

There are many ways that sleep improves your mental health, and good sleep can be invaluable when you’re coping with difficult emotions. Whether you are facing grief, depression, mood swings from bipolar disorder, or other challenges, prioritizing sleep can:

  • Help regulate emotions
  • Promote greater mood stability
  • Enhance energy levels (reducing the need for caffeine)
  • Help your body rest to ease stress
  • Lower anxiety
  • Promote a more positive attitude
  • Enhance attention and cognition

Reach Out To Healthy Hearts and Minds Today

At Healthy Hearts and Minds, our team is here to help you with any and all behavioral health needs. Reach out to us today at 703-539-2457 to schedule a consultation. We look forward to getting to know you!

Our team of licensed social workers, therapists, and registered interns are all here to help. We currently offer telehealth counseling services in Maryland, Virginia, and Florida.

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