Mental Health Issues Sleep Deprivation May Cause

Mental Health Issues Sleep Deprivation May Cause

How often have you faced the situation when you are trying to sleep, but you are not able to? You might end up spending the entire night tossing and turning in your bed. Situations like this may occur to anyone, maybe due to some worry or out of excitement for something that’s going to happen the following day. However, if it becomes a usual affair, it can be terrible, indicating sleep problems, such as insomnia, sleep deprivation, sleep apnea, etc. It can do more damage than one could imagine.

Since the mind and the body rely on correct sleep pattern to function normally, a good eight-hour sleep is much needed for a healthy life. Cutting corners on sleep could be detrimental for both mental and physical health. In other words, compromising on sleep to meet certain responsibilities or to get a bit of extra leisure time can have severe negative effects on both mental and physical health, causing a high stress level, irritability, cardiac morbidity and numerous other health issues.

While a lot of people are unable to get their forty winks owing to significant changes in their lifestyle, a few others may go through the ordeal due to various social or environmental factors. But whatever be the reason, sleep deprivation can be dangerous, resulting in mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

It has been observed that most Americans are sleep deprived, and the condition is alarming for those with psychiatric conditions. Clearly, there is a strong relationship between sleep deprivation and the development of numerous mental health issues. Some common health issues that develop in people who are constantly sleep deprived are:

  1. Depression: Generally, an individual dealing with depression is first monitored for any symptoms of sleep disorders, following which the diagnosis for depression is made. Studies have shown that people dealing with insomnia are more likely to develop depression later in their lives as compared to those without any such problem. Moreover, depressed individuals with sleep problems are more prone to commit suicide than those who get a proper sleep.
  2. Anxiety: Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues that can be triggered by the lack of adequate sleep. A person may experience problems such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and panic disorder when deprived of sufficient sleep. On the other hand, if a person with an anxiety disorder has sleep problems due to it, can see the symptoms worsening, leading to delayed recovery.
  3. Bipolar disorder: Also known as manic-depressive illness, this disorder can make an individual either sleep excessively or experience restless sleep. Studies have shown that dealing with a manic or depressed episode of bipolar disorder along with difficulty in sleeping can pose significant hindrances in treatment, and hence, delay in recovery. The person might also feel low on energy, less motivated, and lack of interest in daily activities. Suicidal thoughts due to a combination of bipolar disorder and lack of sleep are also common in such individuals.

Recovery road mapA sound sleep not only ensures physical and mental health, but also helps in preventing the development of various mental illnesses. It is quite possible that mental disorders and physical illnesses coexist, but the cause-and-effect of this relationship may not be clear. A discussion of all symptoms with the doctor can help in identifying if a physical illness can be attributed to a mental ailment, or vice versa.