Self Improvement

How sleep affects mental health?


Have you heard your grandma telling you about her childhood stories…?

If not, you must ask about it. Before 50-60 years, when today’s retired people were the youngsters, they had a very different routine. After a tiresome day, conversations with family, neighbors, and friends was the only way to relax. People used to sleep on time every day because good night sleep was the only and the best way to revitalize the body. Good night sleep was the key to their physical and mental fitness.

Sleep and mental health are interconnected. Sleeping time is the time when the brain and whole bodywork towards the betterment of physical and mental health. When you sleep, your body undergoes a few changes during the sleep cycle. The sleep cycle is the natural mechanism of healing and relaxation of the body. It proceeds in five stages. These stages can be classified as light sleep, deep sleep, and REM (Rapid eye movement) sleep.

FIRST STAGE – In the first stage of the sleep cycle you experience light sleep. You can easily wake up as you drift in and out of sleep. In this, the movement of the body, eyes, and muscles slows down and is in a relaxed position.

SECOND STAGE – This is the stage in which you tend to towards deep sleep. The body temperature drops down, the heartbeat slows down and brain waves cease.

THIRD STAGE – The third Stage of the sleep cycle brings you to the deep sleep. Here the slowed-down brain waves are referred to as Delta waves.

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FOURTH STAGE – This is the part of deep sleep in which the delta waves take you towards REM.

FIFTH STAGE -The final stage of the sleep cycle is REM sleep. In this stage, the brain works actively, the eye movement increases. This is the part where you see dreams.

After the whole sleep cycle, you wake up naturally without an alarm clock. When you wake up like this, you have a feeling of freshness, relaxation deep within you.

The sleep cycle refines your brain and imbibes vitality in your body to work efficiently. This process reduces the stress level, elevates blood circulation, and boosts mental health considerably. Recommended sleeping time for an adult is about 7-9 hours but according to few researchers, major countries in the world are unable to reach 8 hours in the national average time in bed.

We all are living in a society where after a hectic day, spending hours on electronic devices, night outs, awakening the whole night for no good reason is considered as relaxation which is nothing but sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation results in an unfresh and dizzy day. When the brain could not relax overnight, the ability to work the next day is affected. The person could be seen yawning and slowing down in the activities. The chances of irritability and distress increases. The capacity of the brain to deal with multitasking, workload, and stress decreases. The person becomes prone to various sleep disorders. There are more than 70 sleep disorders around the world.

Can you guess the reason behind the considerably increased percentage of mental disorders worldwide…?

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Sleep deprivation could be one of the reasons behind these disorders. One or more psychiatric problems could develop due to a lack of good sleep. Irregularities in sleeping time may result in the following problems.


Insomnia is a common type of sleep disorder in which the person faces difficulty in falling asleep. The person takes a long time to fall asleep and staying asleep also becomes difficult. This may give rise to various psychiatric problems.


Indoor shot of yawning girl wearing glasses and casual yellow shirt Free Photo

Narcolepsy is a disorder characterized by excessive sleepiness, sleep paralysis, hallucinations. The person feels extreme sleepiness and can fall asleep anytime in a day within minutes.


Some people wake up during sleep due to some breathing problems. This could be the sign of obstructive sleep apnea. Disordered breathing during sleep causes multiple awakenings in Obstructive sleep apnea.


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Depression is one of the most commonly seen disorders worldwide. A person can suffer from depression due to various reasons and sleep deprivation could be one of them. Decreased capacity of the brain to handle the stress can be seen due to the lack of sleep. This may result in depression.


Adverse effects of sleep deprivation may lead to bipolar disorders. In this disorder, the patient may experience extreme sleepiness which is described as Hypersomnia or may face the symptoms of insomnia. Worse conditions may result in an episode of mania. Changes in mood and behavior can be seen significantly.



Anxiety disorder is common in children and adolescents. Insomnia can give rise to anxiety disorder. In this, the person could develop various negative emotions. Experiencing a feeling of fear becomes significant in this disorder. The person may need to fear extinguishing therapies in this condition.

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ADHD is Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. This is one of the common disorders in children. The reason behind ADHD may include sleep deprivation because symptoms of ADHD and sleeping disorders are the same remarkably. Difficulty in falling asleep, emotional instability could be the result of this disorder.

These are the various psychiatric disorders that may develop due to irregular sleeping habits. Thus the significance of sleep in strengthening your mental and physical health is enormous.


Even though you have not suffered from any sleep disorders, you must follow a proper routine for falling asleep and waking up. The person with some sleeping problems should follow the instructions given by the medical professionals and should maintain the sleep cycle regularly.

Everyone should try to avoid staying awake for a long time after an exhaustive day. Taking good sleep is the natural way of increasing the efficiency of the brain and reinforcing mental health.

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