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Is your sleep cycle affecting your mood or mental health?



Is your sleep cycle affecting your mood or mental health?

by Lynn Griffith, LCSW 

American's are known for being stressed up and sleep deprived.  Those who suffer from a psychiatric condition are more likely to be found yawning or feeling groggy throughout the day.  Chronic sleep disorder affect 50 to 80 percent of patients that receive psychiatric treatment compared with the 10-18 percent of adults within the general public.  This disorders are strongly associated with those who have diagnosis of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  (1)

Many clinicians will view insomnia or other sleep disorders as symptoms of the psychiatric disorder.  However, studies suggest that problems with sleep may in fact contribute to the development of some psychiatric diagnosis!  Research is now showing that treating the sleep disorder could also help alleviate mental health symptoms.  (1)

Neuroimaging and neurochemistry studies suggest that obtaining a good night's sleep helps create mental and emotional resilience and chronic sleep disruptions increase negative thinking and emotional vulnerability.  (1)

New study finds that poor quality sleep is associated with mood shifts in women with bipolar disorder

A new study reports that poor sleep is associated with negative mood in women diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Those who suffer from bipolar disorder often experience unusual shifts in mood, energy and activity levels that can impact their ability to carry out daily tasks.  The condition is associated with manic high's and depressive lows.  (2)

Poor sleep is associated with both depressive and manic episodes but has also been found to exacerbate these episodes and even trigger mania.  (2)

The study takes into account that women and men sleep differently, therefore women may be at a higher risk for sleep disorder, especially during reproductive years.  Women and men experience bipolar disorder differently.  Women often experience more persistent and more depressive symptoms and have coexisting diagnosis such as anxiety, eating disorders or migraine headaches.  Men often experience shorter episodes and more time in between mood shifts.  (2)

The study examined 216 participants and examined the effect of sleep quality on mood outcome over a two year time period.  Mood outcome was measured by severity, frequency, and variability of depressive and manic symptoms.  (2)

For women, poor quality sleep predicted an increase of severity and frequency of depression and mania.  Among men, baseline depression and personality trait of neuroticism were the strongest predictors of mood outcome.  (2)

If you struggle with sleep, there are things that you can do to alter your lifestyle and improve your quality of sleep!  Sleep is a hormone dependent process, therefore anything we can do to impact healthy hormone balance can also impact the quality of sleep.  Hormone problems can cause sleep disturbance that can be fixed by addressing them not only at night but during the day.  Proper melatonin production depends on proper hormone functioning during waking hours. (3)

To optimize sleep, it's important to consider the food, supplements and exposure to the light or outdoors during the day.  (3)

Eat to sleep:

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