3 MIN READ | Mental Health

Tommy Williamson

How Are Sleep Studies Leading the Way to Better Mental Health?

Cite This
Tommy Williamson, (2022, November 7). How Are Sleep Studies Leading the Way to Better Mental Health?. Psychreg on Mental Health. https://www.psychreg.org/how-are-sleep-studies-leading-way-better-mental-health/
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Do you often feel tired and stressed? Are you having trouble concentrating or making decisions? You may be one of the many people who suffer from a mental health problem. 

Did you know that sleep is essential for good mental health? Most people with mental health problems also have difficulty sleeping. In fact, sleep is so important for mental health that many experts believe it should be considered a treatment.

If you are struggling with a mental health problem, getting enough sleep may be one of the most important things you can do to improve your condition. There are many ways to get more sleep, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But by exploring the options and finding what works best for you, you can start getting the rest your mind and body need.

Here’s how sleep can improve mental health and find out how you can contribute to research by taking part in paid medical trials london

How is mental health related to sleep?

Sleep is essential for brain health. Brain activity fluctuates during sleep, increasing and decreasing during different sleep stages that make up the sleep cycle. 

In NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep, overall brain activity slows, but there are quick bursts of energy. 

In REM sleep, brain activity picks up rapidly, which is why this stage is associated with more intense dreaming. Each stage plays a role in brain health, allowing activity in various parts of the brain to ramp up or down and enabling better thinking, learning, and memory. 

Research has also uncovered that brain activity during sleep has profound effects on emotional and mental health. 

For example, studies have shown that people who sleep poorly are more likely to experience depression and anxiety. 

In addition, sleep deprivation has been linked to manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder. 

Conversely, getting enough good-quality sleep can help to improve mood and reduce stress levels. Therefore, sleep plays a vital role in mental health.

Sleep and specific mental health problems

Depression

Around the world, it is estimated that more than 300 million people suffer from depression. This type of mood disorder is characterized by feelings of sadness or hopelessness, and around 75% of those with depression also experience symptoms of insomnia. 

In addition, many people with depression suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness or hypersomnia, which is sleeping too much. Although historically sleep problems were seen because of depression, there is now growing evidence suggesting that poor sleep may induce or exacerbate depression. 

The difficulty in identifying clear cause and effect reflects what is believed to be a bidirectional relationship in which sleep problems and depressive symptoms are mutually reinforcing. As a result, it is important to address both sleep problems and depressive symptoms to achieve optimal mental health.

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that affects a person’s mood and can cause extreme episodes of both mania and depression. 

Sleep patterns are often disturbed in people with bipolar disorder, and this can lead to further impairments in everyday life. 

During manic periods, individuals usually feel less need for sleep, but during depressive episodes, they may sleep excessively. Disruptions to sleep patterns often persist even when a person is between episodes. 

Lack of sleep can aggravate symptoms of bipolar disorder and make it more difficult to manage the condition. 

If you are struggling to get enough sleep, it is important to talk to your doctor or mental health professional. They can offer advice on how to improve your sleep habits and help you find ways to cope with the effects of bipolar disorder.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder characterized by difficulty in differentiating between what is and is not real. 

People with schizophrenia are more likely to experience insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders. 

Sleeping problems may be exacerbated by medications that are used to treat schizophrenia. Poor sleep and symptoms of schizophrenia may be mutually reinforcing, so there are potential benefits to stabilizing and normalizing sleep patterns. 

Lack of sleep can cause delusions, hallucinations, and other symptoms of schizophrenia. By getting enough rest, people with schizophrenia can help to reduce the severity of their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.

How can you contribute?

When it comes to finding solutions for mental health issues, clinical trials play a key role. By participating in these trials, patients can help researchers to develop new treatments and to learn more about the causes of mental health problems. 

Clinical trials can be vital for uncovering new information about sleep disorders. These trials can help to identify effective treatments for insomnia and other sleep disorders, and they can also shed light on the causes of these problems. 

By participating in clinical trials, patients can play a crucial role in finding solutions to mental health issues related to sleep.


Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in psychology, mental health, and wellness.


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