Alaska Sleep Education Center

How Physical, Mental and Sleep Health Go Hand in Hand

Posted by Paisley Hansen on Jul 31, 2020 8:54:00 AM

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Even before science proved it to be true, we have long suspected that our physical and mental conditions are related. Today, we know this to be true and we know that by letting our mental health suffer, our bodies will also experience physical illness. If this is true, the opposite must also be true. Maintaining a good mental balance can help us stay physically healthy.


The Relationship Between Physical and Mental Health

Recently, studies have revealed that physical illness can negatively impact how we feel about ourselves. Conversely, mental illness affects our physical health, raising stress and inflammation levels, which open us up to physical disease. Yet, healthcare still doesn't integrate physical and mental healthcare. The connection hasn't been given proper consideration in the past, but that's beginning to change.

There's a growing trend to urge doctors to address the psychological effects that the diagnosis of a physical illness has on a patient. Already, caregivers are beginning to integrate psychological care into treatments for breast cancer patients, because they recognize that depression has a significant impact on survival and recurrence rates among these types of patients.


At Home, Mental Health Affects Physical Health

Psychotherapist helping a patient at officeConsidering less extreme situations, the connection between mental health and physical health can still be observed in our daily lives. When we feel depressed, anxious, or stressed, we don't take care of ourselves as well as we should. We might let personal hygiene practices go or eat unhealthy foods, which can weaken our immune system and cause us to become sick.

Conversely, physical illness affects our mental health. When you have the flu, for instance, the smartest thing to do is to stay in bed, drink liquids, and get as much rest as possible. However, being ill compromises our judgment and we might try to go to work or school, while we're still very sick. In addition to passing the flu on to others, we could pass out or may even die from complications.

Getting the right amount of sleep seems like a simple task that everyone can accomplish, but it is often not that easy. When people sleep too much or too little, it greatly affects their mood and energy. By sleeping for the right amount of time, and at the appropriate hours, will help to balance your mind and body.

Those who struggle with keeping a balanced and healthy mental state could benefit from products that help them feel their best self, physically and mentally. Some beneficial products that one could use at any time to be a better version of themselves are a thrive patch, stress ball, or journal. Any of these things could help someone to align and stabilize their emotions.


Using the Correlation Between Our Physical and Mental Health

While this seems like trouble, considering that one condition can affect the other, it might also be viewed as good news. By doing what we can to stay mentally healthy, we can reduce the chances of contracting physical illnesses. Similarly, taking better care of our physical bodies can help us maintain a healthier state of mind. This may be why so many exercise blogs incorporate exercises and routines for eliminating stress and dealing with depression.

Reducing stress is one of the best things you can do to ensure a healthier state of mind and it can often be enjoyable. Look for things that help you relax, whether that's practicing yoga or meditation or listening to your favorite music. Walking in nature has been shown to help people relax and feel better about themselves, while also providing physical exercise for the body.

Often exercise and physical activity can relieve stress as well. By living a more active life, you'll experience reduced stress and inflammation.

The act of exercising releases "feel good" neurotransmitters in the brain, boosting mood and helping regulate emotions. By living a more active life, you're also fortifying your immune system and strengthening your physical body.

The key to good health isn't just found in diet and exercise. Being healthy means taking care of your mind and spirit as well. By striving to achieve mental and physical balance, you'll be maintaining a healthier existence, which will, in turn, make you a happier person.

Alaska Sleep Clinic And Your Overall Health 

Dr. Angela RandazzoAngie Randazzo, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist at St. Luke's Sleep Medicine and Research Center, St. Louis, MO. She received her doctorate from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and her master's from Southern Illinois University. She began her sleep medicine career in 1989 when she joined James K. Walsh, PhD, at the Sleep Disorders Center at the former Deaconess Hospital in St. Louis.

She began treating sleep-disordered patients at the Sleep Medicine and Research Center at St. Luke's Hospital in 1993. She has 25 years of experience treating all types of sleep disorders, including insomnia, delayed sleep phase, sleep apnea, shift work and daytime fatigue/sleepiness, using behavioral techniques. Behavioral interventions target behaviors and thinking that maintain or worsen sleep disturbances, and the techniques teach patients self-management skills to improve their sleep and resume healthy, normal sleep.

Dr. Randazzo's primary research interests include insomnia, clinical pharmacology, sleep deprivation and the relationship of sleep and behavior. She has conducted more than 100 clinical research trials, and she is the author of 18 publications on the topic of sleep, including sleep restriction in children, for which she received the 1997 American Sleep Disorders Association Young Investigator Award.

Impaired sleep can seriously affect your quality of life and productivity. Behavioral changes implemented under the guidance of an experienced clinician can improve sleep quality and help you feel more alert and functional on a regular basis. Sleep is a third of your life – make it count!

Alaska Sleep Clinic is the most comprehensive multi-site sleep lab in Alaska with clinics in Anchorage, Wasilla, Fairbanks, and Soldotna and we continue to expand our services to those with sleep disorders. Angie Randazzo, PhD, is a specialist in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with expertise in sleep disorders. No other CBT sleep specialist provides care in the state of Alaska. She is available to Alaska Sleep Clinic’s patients via tele-medicine, through SleepTM.

Learn More

Provider Facts on Behavioral Treatment for Insomnia 


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