How Is Sleep Affected By Mental Health?

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Sleep allows the body to recharge, but what happens when we don’t get enough sleep? To raise awareness for mental health and its influence on our sleep, TEMPUR® breaks down how sleep is affected by poor mental health, and what you can do to improve your quality of sleep.

WHY IS SLEEP SIGNIFICANT TO MENTAL HEALTH?

Maintaining a regular sleep-wake cycle allows the natural rhythm of the body to be reset every day and therefore optimises brain function. Without this very important process, it can lead to both psychological and physical health problems. Those with mental health problems are more likely to have poor memory, insomnia or other sleep disorders.

Studies suggest that high-quality sleep helps regulate our mental and emotional state, while poor quality sleep – or worse, sleep deprivation – can cause negative thoughts and dips in our emotions.

The TEMPUR® Sleep vs Mental Health survey discovered that three in ten of us admit that poor quality sleep not only has an impact on our mental health, but also affects our work, fitness and diet – showing just how important sleep is for our overall wellbeing.

TEMPUR’S FREE SLEEP CONSULTATION

With this in mind, TEMPUR® are launching an exciting free sleep consultation initiative to offer sleep advice to customers, NHS and care home workers for Mental Health Awareness Week (14-18 May). The free 20-minute consultations will be given by TEMPUR® sleep expert and chartered psychologist Suzy Reading.

In such a stressful time, good sleep is paramount – especially for shift workers and care workers undertaking long and stressful hours. Suzy will be providing free critical advice, tailored to individual sleep needs, in the hope of reducing stress and anxiety and helping people to sleep better.

SYMPTOMS OF POOR SLEEP

There are many symptoms caused by poor sleep – and by noticing them early on, you can take steps to improve your sleep and therefore your mental health. These symptoms include:

• Low mood
• Anxiety
• Irritability
• Unpredictable behaviour
• Poor performance, such as making mistakes and taking a longer time to think than normal

Experiencing any of these symptoms can be an indicator of poor sleep. This is because the brain is made up of 100 billion neurons linked through countless connections, which are constantly developing. If you’re not sleeping enough, you aren’t letting your brain strengthen certain connections.

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP

Improving your sleep will allow your body to reset and cope effectively with the challenges it faces as a result of poor mental health. If you think your mattress or pillows could be behind your poor sleep, consider replace them for a dreamy night’s rest.

By exercising regularly (at least three hours before going to bed), you’ll be able to use up your energy so that your body and mind have been properly stimulated. Avoiding caffeinated tea and coffee and not drinking alcohol before going to bed will help your body to naturally tire at the right time and go into sleep mode, which in turn helps prevent sleep deprivation and sleep anxiety.

Create a good bedtime routine by trying to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. This will help your body to feel relaxed before going to bed, as it knows what to expect and feels at ease. If you can’t sleep, try not to worry. Get up and do something relaxing like listening to music or reading until you feel sleepy.

How do you find sleep affects your mental health? Do you have any tips on getting to sleep? Let us know in the comments below…

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