Chronic sleep issues are a growing issue in the United States. It’s estimated that chronic sleep issues affect between 10 and 18 percent of adults living in the country. At first, it might seem that sleep issues only affect your energy levels for the next day, but actually, chronic sleep issues can also have a detrimental effect on your mental health. If a lack of sleep prevents you from receiving at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night, then the risks of developing mental health issues rises. A regular lack of sleep can lead to issues that create a need for psychiatric assessment, psychiatric medication, or a need for psychiatric services in general. This article looks at three ways chronic sleep issues can affect your mental health.
- Depression: Suffering from chronic sleep issues can play a significant part in developing depression. Getting healthy amounts of rest can at times be key to recovering from depression and if you can’t get healthy amounts of sleep each night, it can set back any treatment process for depression. According to a Harvard study, “Studies report that depressed patients who continue to experience insomnia are less likely to respond to treatment than those without sleep problems. Even patients whose mood improves with antidepressant therapy are more at risk for a relapse of depression later on.”
- Anxiety: In the same way that sleep issues can lead to depression, they can also cause anxiety disorders to develop. This is not as common as the development of depression, but it can still happen. This happens because healthy amounts of sleep are necessary to reduce stress that is accumulated during the day. If regular sleep episodes don’t happen, it’ll allow stress to accumulate and could potentially lead to the development of anxiety disorders.
- ADHD: Chronic sleep issues can also lead to symptoms associated with ADHD growing worse. Insufficient sleep each night can affect children with ADHD and can potentially have a detrimental effect on any medication they’re taking to control their symptoms.
In conclusion, chronic sleep issues can have a severe effect on mental health. These includes, but are by no means limited to, developing depression, developing an anxiety disorder, or worsening ADHD symptoms. And if the mental health issue is pre-existing, chronic sleep issues could potentially make the problem worse. If you’re suffering from chronic sleep issues, it’s important to seek treatment so you can keep your mental health balanced.