sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation, your life and mental health

While most of us can admit to experiencing sleep problems from time to time, regular or even nightly sleep deprivation has an adverse effect on your mental health, as well as the quality and length of your life (1).

There is a myriad of reasons why you’re not sleeping – one size does not fit all – from worry, anxiety, pain, medication, PTSD, diet and lifestyle, grief, mental health conditions and underlying health conditions.

Insomnia and mental health problems have a bi-directional relationship, i.e. insomnia causes mental health problems but, equally, mental health problems cause insomnia. Common mental health conditions associated with insomnia are anxiety, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia and ADHD (2). Notably, insomnia can delay recovery from mental health conditions (3). Meanwhile, other research has identified a direct link with insomnia and suicide across all age groups, (4) but particularly adolescents, so insomnia is a very serious condition that needs to be addressed promptly, and safely, to reverse this disturbing trend (5)(6).

What is becoming increasingly evident from research is the role of sleep and a healthy immune function and so a good night’s sleep is vital for good health generally (7)(8).

The Sleepability perspective is that, from experience, I have learned that symptoms are rarely the problem itself, but a messenger from the body. Perhaps a bodily system or organ is out of balance, or there’s a problem or emotion we’re not processing. Sadly, the quick fix of sleeping pills only provide a temporary solution which may appear to help at first – they
definitely help us get to sleep quickly – but come with unpleasant and sometimes serious side effects. The quality of sleep while taking this medication is far less than that experienced in natural sleep and once medication stops, the insomnia returns. Worse still, sleep medication has been shown to adversely affect memory and shorten your life, even
with short term use. Researchers have also identified a consistent link with the onset of cancer. The exact reason for this is being researched still, but the evidence is clear (9).

Sleepability works with you to establish potential causative factors and address these with natural remedies, helping to bring your body off of red alert, and learn to sleep again.

Contact me today and start your recovery to healthy sleep, naturally. Because sleep matters.

References

1 Taylor et al, 2005: ‘Epidemiology of insomnia, anxiety and depression’ – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16335332/

2 Abbot, J, 2016: ‘What’s the link between insomnia and mental illness’; ScienceAlert, The Conversation –
https://www.sciencealert.com/what-exactly-is-the-link-between-insomnia-and-mental-illness

3 Harvard Mental Health Letter, 2019: ‘Sleep deprivation can harm your mental health’ –
https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Sleep-and-mental-health

4 Woznica et al, 2015: ‘The insomnia and suicide link: toward an enhanced understanding of this relationship’ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25454672/

5 McCall and Black, 2013: ‘The link bdtween suicide and insomnia: theoretical mechamisms’ – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23949486/

6 Russell et al, 2019: ‘Sleep problem, suicide and self-harm in university students: a systematic review’ –
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30721844/

7 Irwin, 2015: ‘Why sleep is important for health: a physchoneuroimmunology perspective’ –
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25061767/

8 Irwin & Opp, 2017: ‘Sleep Health: reciprocal regulation of sleep and innate immunity’ –
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27510422/

9 Walker, Matthew, 2018: ‘Why We Sleep’ – Penguin ISBN-10: 9780141983769; ISBN-13: 978-0141983769

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