The connection between sleep and mental health is a well known fact. Lack of sleep or having sleep disorders can definitely have an impact on your mental health.

Amongst Americans, those with depression, anxiety and ADHD may commonly suffer from sleeping problems. Research also shows that patients going through psychological problems have shown symptoms of sleep disorders and insomnia. Therefore, it is certain that treating a sleep disorder can ease the recurrence of psychological problems. While how the brain works between forming a connection of sleep and mental health is difficult to understand, studies show that a good sleep in the night is instrumental in emotional and mental resilience.

What can sleep problems lead to?

  • Have negative thoughts – Poor sleep can affect your ability to rationalise problems and irrational thoughts may end up creating a negative mood throughout.
  • Feel lonely – Lack of sleep can make you feel tired all the time ultimately making you lazy to socialise and spend time with your friends and family.
  • Psychosis – If you’re already going through a psychotic disorder, lack of sleep may worsen the symptoms and lead to psychosis or paranoia.

Treatments for sleep related mental health disorders

Most common types of treatments include a combination of lifestyle changes, behavioral strategies, psychotherapy, and drugs if necessary.

  • Lifestyle changes and physical activity – Avoiding caffeine related products and alcohol as much as you can will support in having a good sleep during the night. Eventhough people will have the perception that alcohol will give you a good sleep, what it does is giving you a sleep only for few hours thereafter you will be awake. Regular exercising will also help you in getting into sleep faster and awaken less in the night.
  • Sleep routine – Maintaining a regular sleep and wake up schedule can help in a healthy sleep routine. Always keep the bedroom comfortable and relax before you go to sleep. In addition, keeping the bedroom dark and only for sleeping without any distractions such as tv or mobile, laptop devices can also help in maintaining a healthy sleep.
  • Relaxation techniques – Good relaxation techniques such as listening to soothing music, meditation, muscle relaxing activities and breathing exercises can be useful in overcoming sleep difficulties.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation – This treatment helps those who undergo sleep problems to change negativity around them and to build confidence that they can have a good night’s sleep. At Mount Vernon Counseling Center, our team of experienced Psychiatrists Alexandria VA with specialization in cognitive behavioral therapy will guarantee you a successful treatment programme to overcome your mental health issues due to lack of sleep.