Excessive sleepiness can influence your mental health. Failing to get the full seven to nine hours of sleep you need each night can alter your mood, outlook on life, energy levels, motivation, and emotions. The longer you go without the quality of sleep you need, the worse your mood will become. Poor sleep can lead to poor mental health, but people who already suffer from poor mental health will suffer from poor sleep. This can feel like a never-ending cycle, damaging both your sleep and mental health.

How Is Mood Affected by Poor Sleep?

If you’re feeling low, you may not immediately blame lack of sleep. However, even small levels of sleep deprivation over time can chip away at your happiness. You might find that you’re less enthusiastic about your hobbies or doing anything you normally love. As well as this, you might feel more irritable, or even have some of the symptoms of clinical depression, such as feeling sad or empty. These alterations to your mood can affect not only your health, but your relationships, too.

Insomnia

People with insomnia can have greater levels of depression and anxiety than those who sleep normally. They can be ten-times as likely to have clinical depression, and seventeen-times as likely to have clinical anxiety. The more someone experiences insomnia, and the more they wake up at night as a result, the higher the chances of developing depression.1 You can find out more about insomnia here.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is when someone wakes up frequently and very briefly through the night. This is linked to depression, too. In one study of 19,000 people, those with sleep apnoea were five-times as likely to suffer from clinical depression. Researchers believe that this is because, when sleep is disrupted again and again, it can alter brain activity and the neurochemicals that affect our mood and thinking.2 Find out more about sleep apnoea here.

Disrupted Sleep and Mental Health

Disrupted sleep can lead to emotional changes, clinical depression, anxiety, and many more mental health conditions. However, these conditions can also further disrupt sleep. If you find yourself sleeping too little, or even too much, on a regular basis, consult your doctor, as there could be an underlying physical or mental condition. You and your doctor can also discuss your physical and mental health to decide if further tests are needed.

How Does Grief Affect Your Sleep?

Grief is an essential human experience. We’ll all experience grief in our lives, but we’ll experience it differently. Grief also pervades all aspects of our lives; our thoughts ae consumed by our loss, our appetite shifts and food can taste differently, and we’re less...

Narcolepsy and Sleep

We all struggle with disturbed sleep and tiredness now and again, but it’s part of everyday life for people with narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a rare long-term brain condition that causes a person to suddenly fall asleep at inappropriate...

Sleeping with Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is a disorder of the central nervous system that causes a loss of cells in the part of the brain that controls your movement. While Parkinson’s itself is not a mental health problem, it’s been linked with memory problems, depression, and sleep...

Sleep Paralysis

We all get nightmares, whether it’s being chased by an angry mob or getting a big red ‘F’ on an exam we didn’t even have to do. However, the good thing is that we wake up from them. People who struggle with sleep paralysis don’t have this luxury. Sleep paralysis is...

Sleeping with Alzheimer’s Dementia

Alzheimer’s Dementia is the gradual decline of brain functioning and is the most common type of dementia in the UK. It can affect your memory, thinking skills, and other mental abilities. However,...

Postnatal Depression and Sleep

Having a baby is an exciting time, but it can also be emotional as it’s a huge change to your life – especially if this is your first baby. While new mothers can be happy, tired, emotional, and even tearful, it’s thought that 14% of new mothers suffer from Postnatal...

Loneliness and Sleep

We all feel lonely from time to time, but feelings of loneliness are personal. One common description of loneliness is that it’s the feeling we get when our need for rewarding social contact and relationships has not been...

Alcoholism and Sleep

Anyone who has a drink now and again knows that beer, wine, or spirits can sometimes leave you feeling drowsy. This makes it a great nightcap, right? Well, not really. While alcohol can help you fall asleep faster, it’ll also contribute to poor quality of sleep later....

Sleeping with Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is a mental health condition which affects a person’s moods, which can swing from one extreme to another without warning. Unlike normal mood swings, each extreme episode of bipolar disorder can last for several weeks, and sometimes longer. While the...

Schizophrenia and Sleep

Many people have heard of schizophrenia, but this isn’t to say that they understand what it is. Schizophrenia is a mental illness that about 1 in 100 people experience. It...

Trauma and Sleep

Stress from a traumatic event can often lead to a variety of sleep problems. When the body is overworked, the brain is flooded with neurochemicals that keep us awake, such as epinephrine and adrenaline. This makes it hard for the mind and body to relax at the end of...

PTSD and Sleep

A terrifying recurrent dream, drenched in sweat, heart beating fast. Waking up and often being unable to fall asleep again that night. These are the most common disturbances to sleep that someone with PTSD can suffer from. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly common for...

Autism and Sleep

A good night’s sleep isn’t guaranteed for everyone, but it’s almost impossible for many people with autism. We all know that a poor sleep will make us feel grumpy the next day, and the same is true for people with autism. Whether they can communicate how they’re...

Children with Asperger’s and Sleep Problems

About 73% of children with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) experience sleep problems. These problems can tend to last longer for children with AS than they would for children without AS. For example, children with Asperger’s would be more likely to be sluggish and...

Children with ADHD and Sleep Problems

Lack of sleep can be a problem among many children, but especially those with ADHD. Researchers are looking into the links between ADHD and sleep. While the causes of sleep issues for children with ADHD isn’t yet clear, the relationship between ADHD and poor sleep is...

ADHD and Sleep Problems in Adults

Everyone needs 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night to feel productive and well during the day. However, people with ADHD often have a hard time falling or staying asleep. Adults with ADHD rarely fall asleep easily, sleep soundly through the night, and then wake up feeling...

Sleeping with Depression

Feeling sad now and again is a fundamental part of being human, especially during difficult or trying times. In contrast, persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, and disinterest in things that were once enjoyed are symptoms of depression. Depression is...

Sleeping with Anxiety

Many of us toss and turn or watch the clock when we struggle to fall asleep for a night or two. However, for some, a restless night is normal. It’s a frustrating routine; your mind starts to race the same moment your head hits the pillow. You start to worry about the...

Sleeping Disorders in Children

A good night’s sleep is important for everyone’s physical and emotional health – but especially for children. Children need long periods of uninterrupted sleep for optimal growth and development. However, more than a third of school-aged children may have sleep...

Common Sleep Disorders

Sleep is not just ‘time out’ from our busy routines. We need to sleep well to help our bodies recover from the day, to allow healing to take place, and to let our brains process everything we’ve seen and heard during the day. However, with increasingly busy lives,...

7 Tips and Tricks to Get A Good Sleep

There’s nothing worse than waking up at night and not being able to get back to sleep. If this happens on consecutive nights, you can suffer from poor sleep. In a vicious cycle, poor sleep leads to worrying, and worrying leads to poor sleep. Eventually, poor sleep can...

Mindfulness and Sleep

It’s easy to rush through life without stopping to notice anything. We can get weighed down by work, responsibilities, school, and even thinking about what to have for dinner can be a chore. When we go to bed, our thoughts are still whizzing around, trying to catch up...

How Are Sleep and Mental Health Connected?

Excessive sleepiness can influence your mental health. Failing to get the full seven to nine hours of sleep you need each night can alter your mood, outlook on life, energy levels, motivation, and emotions. The longer you go without the quality...

Footnotes

  1. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/health-impact/complex-relationship-between-sleep-depression-anxiety
  2. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/health-impact/complex-relationship-between-sleep-depression-anxiety
Share This