Sleepless young wWoman suffering from insomnia, covering eyes with hands

From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare

Trouble sleeping can be both a cause and symptom of common mental health conditions. There is an extremely close relationship between sleep and mental well-being. Here’s why:

  1. People with insomnia are at greater risk for developing serious mental health conditions. People experiencing a variety of sleep issues — including insomnia, hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness) and nightmares — have an increased risk of depression, suicidal ideations and death by suicide. And lack of quality sleep can greatly impair cognitive functioning.
  2. Trouble sleeping is a common symptom of many mental health disorders. Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often report sleep issues as one of the symptoms that most impacts their life.
  3. Symptoms of sleep disorders and mental health conditions often overlap. Sleep issues are associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in both children and adults. However, ADHD symptoms often overlap with sleep problems, making it sometimes difficult to differentiate the root cause of behavioral issues.

How to improve sleep

To encourage more successful and restorative sleep, try following these healthy habits:

  • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day — a consistent schedule is key for setting your internal clock.
  • Avoid nicotine, caffeine, alcohol and heavy meals prior to bedtime.
  • Exercise daily — vigorous or light exercise can promote better sleep.
  • Create a sleep-friendly bedroom environment — minimize noise, keep the room dark and at a comfortable temperature, and avoid screen time before bed.

The VEBA Resource Center offers Yoga Nidra (Yoga for Sleep) Classes. Enjoy a session of guided meditation and mind-body therapy done in a comfortable lying down position to systemically reduce stress, increase circulation and promote better sleep. Check out our calendar to sign up for an upcoming class.