Sleep and mental health are connected. You need sleep for your health.

Sleep and Mental Health

Often, people do not get enough rest. They might not think it matters, but there is a clear connection between adequate sleep and mental health. Not sleeping can have disastrous effects on your professional and personal life. If you have difficulty sleeping, it could be connected to depression or bipolar disorder. More than one-half of insomnia cases are related to depression, anxiety or psychological stress.

Seeking help could improve your sleep. Talking to a counselor can be a productive way to learn relaxation techniques and discover some lifestyle behaviors that may be in need of adjustment. Since sleep problems can be linked to mental health issues, talking through your problems can be a way to discover underlying issues that may be detrimental to your sleep. Once you treat the underlying problem, it is possible to improve your sleep and mental health.

Why Sleep Is Important

You need sleep in order to keep your mind and body healthy. It has been proven that individuals who have a good night’s rest are better at learning tasks and are better at problem solving than people who don’t get enough rest. Sleep enhances a person’s ability to be creative and pay attention. Sleep deprivation has been linked to depression and unhealthy behaviors.

Depression and Sleep

Sleep is essential to feeling good, thinking clearly, and having energy. If you are not sleeping, your mood will shift. It is likely you will feel unmotivated and experience intense mood swings.

Depression has been linked to individual family and medical histories. It can also stem from events that happen in someone’s life. For example, some people experience depression while living through the stress of a painful event, such as the death of a loved one, a divorce, or the loss of a job.

Some also find depression entering their lives in their later years. While each person’s experience is unique, there seems to be more elderly depression when individuals are suffering from medical conditions and have limited mobility, isolating them from loved ones. Detection and treatment of depression can alleviate the feelings of despair, no matter what your age.

Adjusting Lifestyle for Sleep and Mental Health

Improved sleep can happen through therapy, but you will likely have to implement some lifestyle changes to improve your sleep, too.

  • Get exercisePeople who regularly exercise, are more likely to fall asleep and wake up at consistent times. They are also less likely to awaken in the night.
  • Create a relaxing environment. Learning how to sleep better means having a space designed for sleep. Keep your bedroom dark and don’t watch television or play on your phone. Your bedroom should be a place of rest, not distraction.
  • Relaxation techniques. If you are experiencing anxiety, use breathing, visualization, or meditation to calm your mind.

When to Seek Help

Sleep problems can be the result of negative thoughts, feelings, or expectations. Improving your life and building your confidence could result in a restful sleep.

Contact Van Blarcom Consulting to improve your sleep habits and your life.

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Kendall E. Van Blarcom, Psy.M. Licensed Psychotherapist (Retired)

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Please note: I do not offer the services of a virtual counselor, therapist or geriatric psychologist. Online personal consulting is not intended to take the place of traditional face-to-face therapy, clinical assessment or treatment.

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