How Poor Sleep Can Affect Your Mental Health

Contributed by Sarah, Editor of Feeling the repercussions of being an irregular sleeper for far too long, she decided to do something about it. She learned why sleep is so important and how to maximize it, and is now helping others who are struggling to find their right sleep routine.

Sometimes in life, you might find yourself under a lot of pressure. Too much pressure that will keep you awake during the night. I was in such a situation when I lost my job. I barely slept. All I kept thinking was how to survive. My predicament affected both my physical and mental health until a friend suggested that I should visit a psychiatrist. My health was deteriorating because I was not getting enough sleep. I know you are wondering how sleep had such impulsive effect on me, but after taking you through some mental effects of poor sleep, you will understand.

At times you might be engulfed with anxiety when you find yourself in a situation which seems difficult to handle. These are the times you barely get enough sleep. A stressful life might also make you anxious because of the fear of the unknown. Lack of sleep only makes these situations worse. The reason being, your mind doesn’t have enough rest to process old memories and create room for new ones.

Most poor sleepers often take sleeping pills to induce sleep. However, continued use of such medication can lead to depression. With depression, you will always be tensed and irritable. So, it is important that you tackle the underlying cause so as to avoid long-term effects like insomnia and social isolation. In such a state it is advisable that you seek psychological counseling. If you notice the depression condition has escalated beyond therapy sessions, you may need to visit a doctor to be prescribed with antidepressants. The latter contain elements that help you fall asleep easily. Sleep helps you to relax and to handle situations better.

Poor Work Performance
Sleep plays a significant role in your daily productivity. When you sleep, your brain functionality is boosted, and therefore you will be able to perform more tasks with so more ease. According to National Sleep Foundation, there is a stipulated time frame that each person is supposed to adhere to according to his or her age group. For this reason, you shouldn’t miss having enough sleep just because you are catching up on your favorite series. It might result in poor performance the next day.

Decreased Thought Process
Most students who spend the whole night out clubbing, boozing, or catching up with friends depicts a delicate process of reflection. If you are also into such a lifestyle, your level of alertness and concentration will be decreased. In a real sense, you will either be yawning or missing out on important points. Also, due to lack of sufficient sleep, you will not be able to solve problems that require logical reasoning. Finally, you might also find it difficult to make the right judgment therefore always making wrong decisions that might have an adverse impact on your life.

Impaired Memory
All the activities and information you perceived during the day are consolidated into memory when you sleep. The strengthening of your memory nerves takes place when you are sleeping. Therefore, it is important that you have an adequate sleep. Similarly, you shouldn’t cut your sleep because you might lose some information. Dr. Allison T. Siebern elaborate these findings by stating that you might forget or misplace something when you are sleepy, but after having enough sleep you will be able to remember such things with ease.

When you don’t get enough sleep, you might find yourself being drowsy therefore the chances of you causing an accident are too high. These accidents can either be on the road or at your place of work. You should always ensure that you have enough sleep so as to avoid such mistakes. With this in mind, it is always advisable that you shouldn’t operate any machinery or drive because your mind at this time is not alert.

Low Libido
Lack of sleep can have an adverse impact to both female and male regarding sexual desires. You may lose the interest of having intercourse despite how much your partner tries to woo you. Most men who do not have enough sleep secrete a low level of testosterone. This results in depression and poor relationships. Overall, your mental health deteriorates.

The Bottom Line
From the effects outlined above, it is clear that enough sleep is fundamental to a proper mental health and growth. Therefore, commit yourself to a healthy sleep routine. And while at it, let’s celebrate world sleep day which happens on 17 March every year by creating awareness about the importance of sleep.