SLEEP, WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?
Sleep is good for absolutely everything.
During sleep your brain repairs your body, physically and mentally.
It is during sleep, in the deepest stages, that tissues grow and muscles relax and energy is restored. With about 7 hours of really good sleep, your body goes into fix-it mode. Sleep restores hormones, skin cells, liver functions, heart health, and more.
It’s almost like you are a super hero with the power to regenerate, only on a much slower and realistic level. Okay, so it’s not like you are a super hero; but it is still pretty cool.
Poor sleep is associated with a higher risk of mental illness that goes beyond the grumpiness you feel due to a hangover or from staying up too late binge watching The Walking Dead. The next day you will not only feel like a zombie star from The Walking Dead, you will look like one too.
When you don’t get a good dose of sleep, your brain begins to function differently.
It does so in a bad way.
You can see it in your skin like when you have bags under your eyes because of tiredness. You can even see it in your behaviors, like how you yawn all day at work, fall asleep during the team meeting, or drink 25 cups of coffee because you need help in finding the energy to make it through the day.
MENTAL ILLNESS AFFECTS SLEEP
Not getting enough sleep does not necessarily lead to a mental illness.
But, sleep problems are common among people suffering from depression, bipolar, anxiety, schizophrenia and attention deficit disorders.
Sleep and moods are directly related. If you get a good night’s sleep, you wake up happy. If you get too little sleep, you wake up irritable. Sleep can enhance your mood, either positively or negatively. If you have been diagnosed with depression and you do not get proper sleep, your depression could become worse.
If you have schizophrenia and lack sleep, this could affect the hallucinations you experience.
It is very important for you to recognise your sleep patterns and if you feel you are not sleeping properly, take the time to make changes.
Insomnia is a symptom of substance abuse, mood, anxiety and psychiatric disorders.
There are different types of insomnia.
It’s important for you to determine if you have acute or chronic insomnia. Acute insomnia is short term while chronic insomnia lasts for a long time or is recurrent. There is also primary and secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia means you are having problems sleeping but those problems are not related to a health problem.
Secondary insomnia is when your sleeping problems are related to a medical condition you may have such as asthma or heartburn.
Insomnia can slow emotional processing making it hard for mental health treatments to work.
This means recovery can take longer for people who are lacking sleep. For example, if you are a recovering addict, insomnia can make the recovery process more difficult and lead to relapse if not treated. It can also cause further damages.