Sleep Problems: Importance of Sleep for Our Mental Health
Scientists have discovered that sleep problems affect the levels of stress hormones. This imbalance throws the brain off, impairs the ability to think and clouds a person’s ability to make decisions.
People with sleep problems are four times more likely to have relationship problems, three times more likely to experience mood swings, three times more likely to suffer from lack of concentration and twice likely to have immune deficiency, according to mentalhealth.org.uk.
Common Types of Sleep Problems
Did you know that there are more than 70 types of sleep disorders? Yes! According to Harvard Health Publishing, more often than not, sleep deprivation or problems are most likely to occur with people with psychiatric disorders. Therefore, treatment, or medication, may be unavoidable. The most common types of sleeping disorders are insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, various movement syndromes, and sleepiness during the day.
The type of sleep problems a person may have, their prevalence and their impact all differ from one person to another. It delves a bit more into the psychiatric assessment.
An average person goes through two categories of sleep. One is “quiet sleep”. The other is called “rapid eye movement”, REM for brevity.
During our quiet sleep, we go through four stages of sleep. One category is deeper than the other. Deep in a sense where our sleep goes through 4 stages of increasingly deep sleep. So what happens during our sleep? Well, our body temperature drops which allow our muscles to relax. When this happens, our heart rate and breathing slow down. At the fourth stage, or during our deepest sleep, physiological changes happen. This helps our body recover from the stresses of the previous day which among other things helps boost our immune system.
“Get Sleep” – Ways to Cope
Sleep problems create a huge impact on the well-being of individuals. A sleep-deprived person’s GP should be the first go-to person for assessment. Without a GP’s referral, it may be quite challenging to get the help of a professional who specializes in mental health services and sleep problems. Nowadays, and due to the current pandemic the world is going through because of Covid 19, online mental health counselling has picked up popularity, especially in regional areas where mental health support may be out of range, distance-wise.
A lifestyle change should also be considered when a person suffers from sleep problems. An increased level of physical activity can help people fall asleep faster and deeper with less wakening during the night. Meditation may help as well, but if all else fails, professional mental health care services can also be a positive choice to treat sleep problems. Regardless of what it takes for us to get a good night’s sleep, let us not cease exploring the possible remedies that are available out there.