Do you know how important sleep is to your physical and mental health?
Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining good health and wellbeing. Sleep allows your body to continue working to support healthy brain function and ensure good physical health.
What are some of the problems associated with sleeping?
There are many problems associated with sleep, ranging from getting too much to too little and the impact this can have on your daily life.
This could mean that you have difficultly falling asleep at night, or getting back to sleep if you awake in the night. This can lead to sleep not feeling like it has refreshed you, and that you are in a constant state of tiredness.
Sleeping more than your body needs has been linked to physical problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
Nightmares and Night Terrors
Nightmares are frightening dreams that can cause you to awaken and often relate to real life events. Night terrors, on the other hand, occur during deep sleep and cause a deep sense of fear, sweating and an increased heart rate. Both can affect the quality of your sleep.
Sleep paralysis occurs when you wake in the night but are unable to move or speak because there are still sleep hormones in your muscles. This can be an extremely scary experience and lead to anxiety when falling back asleep.
Sleep walking is not usually a problem, unless you injure yourself whilst moving around, but it can disrupt your sleep and lead to a lack of restfulness the next day.
Sleeping problems can be caused by a range of factors including:
- Poor sleep routine or sleep environment
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Physical illness
- Alcohol, drugs and stimulants
- Stress, worry and anxiety
How to cope with sleeping problems
To help you get a better nights sleep, try out these tips to ensure that some of the sleep problems we've mentioned in this blog post don't affect you...
- Make your bedroom into a calm, relaxing space
- Try a breathing technique, such as the 4-7-8 technique
- Take note of what you eat and drink, and record whether that affects your sleep
- Determine physical causes of under or oversleeping
- Before you go to bed, write down all your worries for the following day
- Keep a sleep diary to record how much or little sleep you're getting
- Find out whether your medication is affecting your sleep by changing to a different type (be sure to consult your GP before making any changes to your medication)
Sleep and Mental Health
As well as weakening your immune system, poor sleep can affect mood, anxiety and psychotic disorders.
Stress and Anxiety
These problems can lead to disturbed sleep, nightmares, sleep paralysis and sleep walking. Also, sleep problems over a prolonged period of time can lead to anxiety about going to sleep which can cause insomnia.
For many people, sleeping is a way to avoid facing day-to-day activities that depression makes so hard to do. This oversleeping has long-term physical affects on your health, and can cause fatigue and lethargy, making it difficult to sleep at night.
Sleep problems can make it difficult to deal with everyday life, induce feelings of loneliness and a low mood, cause negative thoughts and sometimes lead to psychotic episodes.
Options are here to help!
Are some of the sleep problems we've talked about in this blog post affecting you or someone you know? Do you need help coping with the stress, anxiety and other mental health issues associated with sleep problems? Options is here to help. Our fully-trained, professional counsellors are on-hand to discuss a range of issues including:
- Stress and Anxiety
- Life Changes
- Loss and Bereavement
- Eating Disorders
No problem is too small. Take a stand today to improve your sleep, mental health and wellbeing.
The Options Team.