Are Sleep and Mental Illness Connected?

Sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea can trigger mental illness symptoms in children and adults. Research has shown that the treatment of sleep disorders is connected with improved functioning and reduced depression in many people. Some medical professionals urge mental health practitioners to address sleep issues as part of their clients' standard treatment.

More about sleep and mental illness:

  • Although sleep can trigger psychiatric symptoms, sometimes sleep disturbance is a symptom in its own right. For example, people who have bipolar disorder often report needing less sleep in a manic state but requiring more sleep than usual when in a depressed state.

  • Some experts believe that electronic gadgets, including devices that can access the Internet at any time, contribute to sleep deprivation in young people, which can lead to a decline in mental health.

  • The use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines can help sleep apnea sufferers breathe consistently throughout the night. In addition, many experts believe that people should use better sleep hygiene skills, such as establishing a consistent sleep schedule and ensuring that sleeping areas are kept dark and quiet.

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