You may already know that sleep has a huge effect on your mental health. If you have ever found that your mental state is a little “off” after a bad night’s sleep, then you are not alone, it happens to all of us from time to time.
Your brain, just like your body, needs time to rest and recharge at night so that you function well during the daytime. However, it is important to know when a bad night of sleep (or more) is not just a one-time occurrence and is a sign of a bigger problem. Sleep is essential to many aspects of your overall well-being. When it comes to your mental health, a good night’s sleep can help to maintain positive mental health.
While bad sleep can happen to anyone, it is important to know when to seek medical help if you are going through a longer period of poor sleep that affects how you function in the daytime. This is often what leads to the diagnosis of many mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and more. All of which are treatable, but not without taking the first step and asking for help.
A few concerning symptoms to look out for include:
- Daytime fatigue
- Falling asleep at inappropriate times during the day
- Inability to concentrate
- Low energy
- Lack of focus
- Feeling emotional
- Physical health problems
Be sure to speak to your doctor if poor sleep is consistently affecting how you function in the daytime.
A few tips to improve your sleep and maintain positive mental health:
- Stick to a consistent bedtime routine
- Create a restful sleeping environment
- Maintain healthy diet and exercise habits
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime
- Limit technology: put your phone or other devices in a different room
- Turn off the TV one hour before bedtime
- Engage in a relaxing activity before bedtime, such as reading, journaling or listening to music