Research Shows That Sleep And Mental Health Have A Bidirectional Relationship

“Sleep is for the weak!”

I’m not sure if kids are still saying this, but millennials used to post this as their status message on all their social media for everyone to know that they were still wide awake at 3 AM even on a school night.

Remember when you thought you were one of the cool kids then when you were still able to stay up all night just to play games or hang out with your friends?

PHOTO: Pixabay/Pintera Studio

For the older ones out there, it’s either you conk out as soon as you hit the bed, lie in bed while you scroll on your phone until sleep finally comes, or ignore the bed and work some more or do other recreational activities to wind down.

Some people treat sleeping as a waste of time. Why sleep when you can be productive instead? And that’s a dangerous way of thinking. (I say this knowing I still think like this sometimes.)

Getting quality sleep is important both for our physical health and our mental health.

In addition to having an increased risk of being diagnosed with chronic diseases, getting less than an ideal amount of sleep can cause cognitive issues and weight gain. It will also increase your risk of getting involved in a car accident if you drive.

There have been numerous studies that show people who don’t get enough quality sleep report increases in negative moods and decreases in positive moods.

The Sleep Foundation said that while research is still lacking when it comes to the link between mental health and sleep, current evidence points to a bidirectional relationship.

“Mental health disorders tend to make it harder to sleep well. At the same time, poor sleep, including insomnia, can be a contributing factor to the initiation and worsening of mental health problems,” they said.

PHOTO: Pixabay/Dema Biofani

One study mentioned that they found out that a person’s mood is more dependent on sleep quality compared to how sleep quality depends on a person’s mood. In other words, if you were in a bad mood before sleep, it doesn’t affect your sleep quality significantly, but getting a good night’s sleep has a significant effect on your mood the next day.

“However, this relationship can vary across individuals with different levels of depression and anxiety,” they added.

Still, the results show that getting enough sleep is vital for our health, both physical and mental.

To know more about how to improve your sleep quality, read about what eating habits you should avoid before bedtime, read our article here if you’re battling anxiety and struggling to sleep, or read these 5 tricks that can help you sleep better.

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