It doesn’t take long for you to notice that you’ve caught a cold or that you have the flu. That’s because we can all tell pretty quickly when we feel unwell physically. What can be harder to identify but can have just as much (if not more) impact is your mental health.
One of the many crucial elements of maintaining good mental health is sleep, so if you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, you can guarantee your mental health is suffering because of it. Here are 4 ways lack of sleep has an impact on your mental health.
- Lack of sleep can lead to depression
Several studies have been conducted that prove a strong link between sleep deprivation and depression. These studies have shown that in the absence of a good night’s sleep, humans are far more likely to develop a long term, serious depression than those who rest well at night.
- Lack of sleep dramatically impacts your mood
If you’re feeling angry, sad, irritable or just more negative in general, this could easily be due to lack of sleep. And although this may seem like more of a temporary effect, research has shown that lack of sleep can also trigger lapses for those struggling with illnesses such as bipolar disorder.
- Lack of sleep can lead to increased stress
You know how people say “let’s sleep on it and discuss it again tomorrow”? Well, we say that because part of the function of sleep is to help your brain reset. Sleep helps us process the information we’ve taken in during the day and correctly categorize it. If you don’t have a good night’s sleep, your brain hasn’t been able to correctly process information and properly reset. Because of this, you will be far more stressed throughout the day which can lead to more serious anxiety problems.
- Lack of sleep slows you down
A good night’s sleep is crucial for proper cognitive function. Lack of sleep leads to reduced memory, lack of focus, difficulty learning, and slower reaction times. As performance and productivity begin to decrease due to sleep deprivation, individuals may begin to experience lack of self-confidence, stress and increased anxiety.
It’s easy for us to recognize when we are physically sick and take action, but when our mental health is slowly declining, this can often go unnoticed. Keep your mind and body in top shape with a good night’s sleep.