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.
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.