Get a good nights sleep, you’ll feel better

03 Oct Get a good nights sleep, you’ll feel better

“Get a good nights sleep, you’ll feel better” or “just sleep on it”, there are many more phrases about sleep and moods your family and friends have probably spouted to you over the years. But did you know there can be some serious consequences for those of us who don’t?

Sleep does help us to reset our brains and have them all recharged and ready for the next day. But not all of us are getting enough of the good stuff; a good nights sleep. There are many reasons why we may not get our nightly fill… young kids, noisy neighbours, that book that cant be put down, binging on Netflix or one of those deadlines for work or school that just wont go away… but what about those of us who have a sleep disorder? Sadly sleep disorders may ultimately make a good nights sleep impossible, and what is worse is that some of us with sleep disirders have had them for so long that this is all they know; poor sleep which seems normal.

Sleep disorders can disrupt the normal flow of sleep (called sleep cycles), often sleep disorders cause a person to wake up many, many times a night. It is this constant arousal from sleep that interrupts the good quality sleep cycles. We know that poor quality sleep had a range of negative effects, from poor reaction times when driving, poor concentration at school and work poor memory. Poor sleep also increases the risk of developing depression or worsening existing depression and anxiety. Often when we are feeling low, we may not realise that sleep is the reason for this.

Poor sleep can influence our outlook on life, energy levels, motivation and emotions. People with insomnia (problems getting to sleep and/or staying asleep) have greater levels of depression and anxiety than those who sleep normally. They are 10 times as likely to have clinical depression and 17 times as likely to have clinical anxiety. The more a person experiences insomnia and the more frequently they wake at night as a result, the higher the chances of developing depression. Obstructive sleep apnoea, a common sleep disorder that causes frequent arousal from sleep, is linked to depression as well. In one study of nearly 19,000 people, those with obstructive sleep apneoa were five times as likely to suffer from clinical depression. Researchers believe this is because when sleep is disrupted over and over, it can alter brain activity and neurochemicals that affect a person’s mood and thinking.

The relationship between sleep and mood is complex, because disrupted sleep can lead to emotional changes, clinical depression or anxiety (as well as other psychiatric conditions). These conditions can also make sleep worse! In fact, altered sleep patterns are a hallmark of many mental health issues.

If you find yourself sleeping too little or too much on a regular basis, it’s important to bring this up with your doctor.


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