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Alaska Sleep Education Center

Is Your Mood Affecting How You Sleep?

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Mar 16, 2019 11:20:00 AM

Though it may come as no surprise that people find it harder to fall asleep when they’re emotionally wound up, the relationship between mood disorders and quality sleep is a complex, two-way street. Just as negative mood states can make getting a good night’s sleep a virtual impossibility, frequently interrupted or insufficient sleep can lead to bouts of depression or anxiety.  Regardless of which comes first, the end result is that a blue mood and poor sleep go hand-in-hand. Could your mental state be contributing to your slumber troubles? Three easy ways to tell:

1. Your Switch Is Always “On.”

Do your worries play on an endless feedback loop in your brain when you climb into bed? Whether you are tossing and turning with anxious thoughts racing through your mind  or dwelling on a general feeling of negativity, the inability to shut off the pessimistic chatter in your head during night hours is a major contributor to sleep issues.  In fact, the risk of insomnia is much higher among people with major depressive disorders.

2. You Drag During the Day.

Feelings of depression and anxiety can make it harder for you to stay asleep or to sleep deeply;  they can also cause you to have more fragmented sleep patterns  that leave you feeling fatigued the next day even though you logged enough hours in bed. Of course, depression itself can be accompanied by low energy, so it is hard to tell whether daytime drowsiness is a result of mood-related poor sleep, or low mood itself. Either way, if you are shuffling through your day when you’ve spent enough hours in bed the night before, your mood may be playing a role.

3. You Have Bad Dreams.

Everyone experiences the occasional scary dream, but frequent nightmares are associated with depression and anxiety, as well as poor sleep quality and a lower quality of life.  It’s a tough cycle to break: Disturbing or negatively charged dreams can cause you to awaken from sleep  and make it challenging to fall back to sleep; then, that inability to get a solid night of shut-eye can leave you feeling emotionally out of sorts the next day, which impacts your ability to sleep the following night.

The good news is that depression, anxiety, and low mood are treatable conditions. Addressing these issues can help you improve the quality of your sleep, in addition to boosting your energy level during the day. Talk with your doctor about your sleep troubles and your mood concerns to come up with a plan today.

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Topics: depression, sleep test, mood

How Grief Affects and Is Affected by Sleep Apnea

Posted by Stefanie Leiter on Oct 29, 2018 6:00:00 AM

It is never easy to lose. But grief does not have to be due to loss of a person. Grief can exist from a divorce, from a broken relationship, job loss, or from a medical condition deemed terminal.

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Topics: depression, fatigue, loss, grief

Snoring, Sleep Apnea and Pregnancy

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Jul 2, 2018 8:34:00 AM

  A new pregnancy is exciting and brings with it the classic discussions about morning sickness, food cravings, and having that "special glow."

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Topics: CPAP, pregnancy, depression, OSA, baby, high blood pressure

Teens, sleep, and depression: The Link Parents Should Know

Posted by Julia Higginson on Apr 9, 2018 5:00:00 AM

Constant moodiness, sleeping in late, copping an attitude, and even being depressed are all seen as typical teenage behavior. But what if your teen just being a teen is really your teen reacting to the effects of sleep deprivation.

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Topics: Pediatrics, teens, behavioral psychology, depression, suicide, sleep habits, losing sleep

How moms can fight seasonal affective disorder

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Oct 27, 2017 9:24:32 AM

If the final months of the year get you or one of your family members feeling down, irritable, or low on energy or craving sweet or starchy foods and sleeping more or less than usual, you may experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that’s common in the winter months. There is not one Alaskan that has not had to deal with at least one side affect of these seasonal blues. 

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Topics: seasonal affective disorder, depression, suicide, winter

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