At Somnology, we view sleep medicine comprehensively by examining its role in the greater picture of one’s health. When it comes to this full health picture, not only is physical wellbeing an essential consideration, but also mental wellbeing. The relationship between mental health and sleep is one that has been heavily scrutinized by psychiatrists and sleep specialists alike, with a myriad of research published on their findings. One major finding is how mental health and sleep share a bidirectional relationship in which the quality of each will affect the other. Poor sleep worsens mental health, and vice versa, poor mental health leads to disrupted sleep. What are then, the consequences of such a relationship occurring time and again?
A Repeating Cycle
The relationship between sleep and mental health is not only recognizable through the pattern of symptoms presented in research, but through physiological overlap as well. Both sleep and mental illness affect the brain and its ability to function. Inadequate sleep causes daytime fatigue and impaired cognitive abilities such as mental focus and recall. Sleep disruption also impacts memory consolidation and emotional processing, both of which are regulated by the brain during sleep. The consequence of this disturbance is an increase of negative emotions and moodiness when awake. This decreased mood and higher level of agitation and anxiety can then cause restlessness when attempting to sleep the next night.
Without treatment, sleep disorders have the potential to affect mental wellbeing, which further impact sleep capability. We can comprehend this relationship as a cycle of negativity that worsens the health of its sufferer when left uninterrupted. Long term consequences of this cycle include increased severity of symptoms experienced and even resistance to standard treatments.
Breaking the cycle of poor sleep and mental health is imperative to achieving overall wellbeing. Somnology facilitates the goal of total wellness with its SLaaS Platform, a comprehensive digital sleep therapy system. To learn more about SLaaS and how sleep impacts overall health, continue reading the SleepTalk Blog.