When we sleep better, we feel better. However, we rarely acknowledge how powerful sleep really is and how it can impact your mental health. Let’s find out!

Yes, we know you have lots of excuses not to get the recommended seven or eight hours of sleep. You often work longer in the night, or you have young children that keep you awake. But, did you know that sleep is as important to our health as breathing, eating and drinking? And did you know that a good night’s sleep can impact your reasoning and clarity of mind?

In this article, we will explain to you how these hours can have a critical role in your mental health. Ready? Just keep scrolling to find out the effect of sleep deprivation on mental health.

How Can Sleep Deprivation Affect Your Mental Health?

A good night’s sleep is crucial to reset brain reactivity in order to prepare you for the emotional challenges of the following day, as it helps foster emotional and mental resilience. For this reason, sleep deprivation has a negative effect on emotion and daily performance.

Actually, we can say that sleep works like a mobile phone battery since we need to recharge our brain after a long day so it functions on the next. A well-rested brain improves focus, sharpens decision-making ability, and it allows for better consolidation of memories and processing of information. On the other hand, if you don’t recharge your brain during the night, it can lead to paranoia and suicidal tendencies in the worst-case scenario.

So, in some people, sleep deprivation can lead to mental health problems like drastic mood swings, negative thinking, emotional vulnerability, cognitive or memory problems, depression and anxiety. The risk of feeling depressed and/or anxious increases with the severity of insomnia.

alarm clock in bed

But After All, is Sleep Deprivation a Cause or an Effect of Mental Health Problems?

The truth is that we can’t talk about one without mentioning the other. On the one hand, if you have anxiety, it’s hard to get quality sleep, which in turn will make you even more anxious. On the other hand, sleep deprivation will lead to anxiety and depression. So, it’s pretty difficult to understand which problem comes first, since it may also depend on when these problems occur in your life.

That’s why sleep problems and mental health conditions are frequently described as “bidirectional”. Together, insomnia and mental health problems exacerbate the effects of one another, creating a negative feedback loop that can push people into a downward spiral.

girl with mental health illness

How to Fight Sleep Deprivation

Well, every cloud has a silver lining. So, the good news is that you can start developing better sleeping habits today. Here are the most important steps:

  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, especially in the hours before bedtime;
  • Start to exercise every day as it helps with the facilitation of sleep patterns;
  • Turn off electronic devices when you go to bed;
  • Maintain regularity about bedtime and wake up time, keeping it consistent every day of the week;
  • Go to bed when you’re tired;
  • Go to another room if you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes of trying;
  • Limit daytime naps to less than 30 minutes;
  • A warm bath, reading, or meditating will allow your mind to drift peacefully to sleep;
  • Stay away from sedatives as they disrupt your brain’s natural sleep process;
  • Make your bedroom sleep-friendly: keep it cool, quiet, and dark. Of course, a comfortable mattress, pillow, and bed sheets are elements that should be considered as they can make all the difference in your sleep and performance.

Help Raise Mental Health Awareness

Millions of people are affected by mental health conditions every year. So, as Marialma believes that a good night’s sleep has a crucial role in our mental health, 1% of all sales are donated to projects developed and led by ENCONTRAR+SE, a Portuguese Mental Health Association.

However, this Black Friday, instead of 1%, 10% of your purchase will go to mental health awareness. Just because we’d rather have happy souls than a happy wallet.

Know more about this day of giving back HERE.

two people with a field background

We hope you have enjoyed our article about the connection between sleep deprivation and mental health. Feel free to pin all the images to your favorite Pinterest board and subscribe to our newsletter, so you can be the first to know about our latest articles. Lastly, don’t forget: sleep well, live well!

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