Exploring Mental Health’s Closest Relationship 

Sleep and mental illness are as connected as they can possibly be. That is, many people who suffer from mental illness also have some trouble with sleeping. One in five people suffers from mental illness, meaning that sleep troubles are likely widespread as a result. You can, in many ways, use your sleep troubles as a way to measure your mental health. This is why sleep is often asked about in therapy and treatment programs. Disorders such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia are all linked to sleep in some way.

Sleep deprivation can be both a cause and a result of mental illness. Not getting enough sleep can cause worsening or prolonged symptoms of mental illness. If your body is unable to sleep and recover, it will have a harder time overcoming issues. The little sleep that you do get is not restorative by nature. Sleep issues leave you feeling tired and drained in the morning. You may be waking up frequently throughout the night, or getting to sleep too late. Some people wake up too early or get limited REM cycles. In any case, poor sleep leaves you without the benefits that adequate rest provides. People who are struggling with insomnia can experience even worse symptoms. Because it is a fight to achieve a full night’s rest, they can feel like there is no relief from their discomfort or negative feelings. Light sleep prohibits us from entering the REM stage of sleep, which is where our body can get the emotional and cognitive benefits of sleep. REM(Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is what helps us feel a balance in our emotions and thoughts. Adequate sleep helps us regulate our emotions and make better decisions. It helps our brain to operate and function as intended. Without getting those benefits from REM sleep, our feelings are more unstable. We are not able to regulate emotions, make rash decisions, and have worse judgment. Our memory can suffer too. Being deprived of sleep’s benefits can cause us to spiral cognitively and behaviorally. We develop bad habits, make bad decisions, and let our conditions deteriorate. These symptoms are dangerous and are why developing healthy sleeping habits is a massive part of recovery. 

There are a lot of different ways to tackle the issue of sleep. In many cases, mental illness must be treated first. Upon resolving mental health issues, your insomnia and trouble sleeping might go away. Undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy can also be helpful. Learning to target negative thoughts can be an effective treatment for insomnia. You can also look into Light Therapy, which has you sit in front of a specialized light device for a specific amount of time every day. This is done to reset a person’s circadian clock. A person will sit in front of the light in the morning to help them wake up. Then, they sit in front of it in the afternoon to ensure they don’t fall asleep too early. It works by keeping our bodies on a specific sleep schedule, which is vital to coping with mental illness. There are several different options, and all of them can help you take control of your sleep. 

You cannot let your sleep suffer because of mental illness and vice versa. It is essential to treat both issues as a single package and understand their correlated nature. Seeking help for these problems is necessary to get them under your control. Make sleep a priority and find ways to relax your body physically and mentally. Without REM sleep, we don’t get the benefits that our bodies need. It isn’t healthy for our bodies to get a low amount of sleep, and deprivation hurts our ability to cope with life. We, and so many other treatment sources, can help you make the adjustments you need to get a good night’s sleep. 

    If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]