Alaska Sleep Education Center

Keep Mental Illness at Bay with Proper Sleep Hygiene

Posted by Kevin Faber on Mar 17, 2021 10:40:36 AM

Young man in pose

Do you know what you’re supposed to do when you’re feeling a physical breakdown? Sleep! This seems weird, but good sleep can help you go through a lot more things than you can ever imagine.

Sleeping well is a sign of keeping a dozen of health problems at bay. You’re safeguarding yourself from mental health problems, keeping your heart healthy, allowing yourself to work with a 100% charged mind, and the list of benefits goes on.

But, wait.

What if you are not taking this mandatory time-off for your body? Are you compromising your sleep for the sake of money, a job, or some worries? It’s an alarming situation that needs your attention immediately.

Imagine the opposite scenario when you are not sleeping enough. You’re lacking focus at work, feeling lazy all the time, you’re eating schedule is disrupted, and getting all those gloomy feels that you never expected. And it can make you hit the rock-bottom.

The Invisible Link between Sleep and Psychiatric Disorders

People with sleep troubles are mostly suffering from mental health problems too. Taking this vice versa, psychiatric disorder patients are having troubles with their sleep. This makes us think about the connectivity between sleep hygiene and mental health.

The brain activities are fluctuating while you’re asleep. In other words, the sleep cycle is formed of many sleep stages that increase and decrease in sleeping mode. Digging this deep, sleep cycle is divided into two stages – REM & NREM sleep. When you’re in REM sleep, the brain’s activity is at its peak and so intense dreaming happens here. In the case of NREM sleep, quick bursts of energy can be experienced, but the brain’s activity slows down.

What you should notice here is your brain is still active when you’re sleeping. The thoughts churned here trigger better thinking, memory, and learning. Many research revealed that your brain’s activity during sleep has profound effects on your mental and emotional health.

Your brain’s capabilities of memorizing things and processing emotional information are facilitated well when you get sufficient sleep. It influences positive mood and emotional activities.

In the opposite scenario when you are not getting enough sleep, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, mood swings, negative emotions, etc. kick-in. Thus, we can see that the relationship between sleep disorder and mental health is bidirectional. Fluctuation in one affects the other.

Sleep disorders can be found as a cause and consequence of mental health problems.

What happens to you when you have sleep problems?

A series of mental health problems may knock you down if you’re having sleep problems. Here are the common ones you should know:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • ADHD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

To say more, sleep-deprived people attract negativity. They start feeling the struggle to make decisions and feel lonely. Things seem to get worse only. As a result, family life and work-life are disturbed.

Moreover, OSA may worsen the conditions. Obstructive sleep apnea aka OSA is an aspect of sleep linking to mental health conditions. It is the pause in breathing pace during sleep time and the lowered oxygen levels happening to the body while asleep. It creates sleep disturbances and fragmentation.

Psychiatric patients experience OSA more frequently. It disturbs their physical health & also leads to serious mental distress.

Is sleep disorder responsible for mental illness?

Let’s have a look at the data before blaming sleep disorder as an underlying cause for mental illness.

  • 10-18% of adults in the USA are suffering from chronic sleep problems.
  • 65-90% of adults having depression also have sleep disorders.
  • 50% of Anxiety disorder patients suffer from sleep disorders.
  • 20-25% of children with ADHD experience sleep troubles.

Help Yourself! Treat Sleep Disorders & Resume to High-Quality Lifestyle

How long can you stay sleep-deprived? This lack of sleep will drain you out! Look at the broad spectrum; you’ll ultimately be living a low-quality life. So, what will be the crucial steps you should undertake once you know that sleep disorder or mental illness is hurting like hell?

Consulting the doctor will help you discover some important aspects of sleep-life. It will boost your confidence that you can still bring your life back on track with natural supplements like Modalert & Modvigil that are not sleeping pills, but brain boosters.

Next, you may be recommended to make some little lifestyle changes as follows:

  • Regular exercising for at least 30 – 40 minutes
  • Avoiding tea, coffee, and excess alcohol consumption before bedtime
  • Trying to maintain the sleep routine with the same sleep and wake-up timings
  • Using bed only for sleep or intimacy
  • Meditation before bedtime
  • Listening to relaxing music to calm your mind
  • Not worrying about things unnecessarily

Such little lifestyle adjustments can make a huge difference to your sleep hygiene. If you’re doing a few of these already, you know what it means.

Final Thoughts

Aligning your life around the body’s biological clock could be one of the best things you can ever do to yourself. One of the medications that’ll help support your intentions is Waklert.

When sleep disturbances become a common part of your life, you should rush to normalize them first. Everything else will fall into place automatically. Also, your mental health problems can be cured effectively if you start treatment from sleep’s end.

If you are suffering from restless nights and not feeling that the sleep you do get is restorative, it may be time to talk with your primary care physician or a sleep specialist about your treatment options. No one should have to suffer from a sleep disorder. At The Alaska Sleep Clinic our goal is to help all Alaskans achieve regular, quality sleep every night of the week.

If you want to discuss your symptoms with one of our qualified staff members to see if a sleep study or cognitive behavioral therapy is right for you, click on the link below and one of our sleep educators will contact you shortly.

The Alaska Sleep Clinic would like to thank Dr. Angie Randazzo for her contributions to this article.

Angie Randazzo, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist at St. Luke's Sleep Medicine and ResearchRandazzo 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 multisite 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 telemedicine, through SleepTM.

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Topics: insomnia, sleep hygiene, mental, cbt

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