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Study Finds Lack Of Sleep Can Severely Harm Your Mental Health

Study Finds Lack Of Sleep Can Severely Harm Your Mental Health

Between jobs, schooling, kids, family, and everything in between, it is not uncommon to see people pushing their days extra long, just to fit all of their errands into it. This does not leave a lot of extra time in the night to get a good nights sleep.

About two thirds of Americans say they do not get a good nights sleep during the week, according to a survey taken by the Sleep Foundation. The lack of sleep is caused by many different factors, especially amongst different generations. Many people feel like it is simply not possible to get enough sleep, and that they function fine without the requisite 8 hours – but what long term impacts could this have?

Whatever the reason that you may not be getting enough sleep, there are a number of adverse effects it has on your mental health. Hopefully you will be able to find some extra time to sleep, or maybe you can make some changes before you start to suffer from one of the following mental disorders.

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Depression

There are studies using different methods and populations that have estimated that about 65% to 90% of adult patients with major depression, and about 90% of children with depression experience some kind of sleep problem. Most of these people suffer from insomnia, however there are some cases that are linked to obstructive sleep apnea.

Bipolar Disorder

Studies report that 69% to 99% of patients experience insomnia or report less need for sleep during a manic episode of bipolar disorder. In bipolar depression, however, studies report that 23% to 78% of patients sleep too much while others may experience insomnia or restless sleep.

Anxiety Disorders

Sleep problems affect more than 50% of adult patients with generalized anxiety disorder.  One study found that younger people with an anxiety disorder took longer to fall asleep, and slept less deeply, when compared with a control group of healthy children. While insomnia is less likely to cause anxiety as it is depression, it is certainly very likely to worsen existing anxiety.

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ADHD

Sleep problems affect 25% to 50% of children with ADHD. Typical problems include difficulty falling asleep, shorter sleep duration, and restless slumber. A lot of cases of ADHD are liked with a number of different sleep disorder breathing-related issues, as well as restless leg syndrome, and other different disorders.

If you are worried about what your sleep habits may do to your mental health, there are some different things you can try to help you get rid of your insomnia

Lifestyle changes

If you are a drinker or a smoker, it would be best to just give them both up altogether, but doing so is not always practical for everybody. Simply try to avoid them before bed time.

Physical activity

Regular aerobic activity helps people fall asleep faster, spend more time in deep sleep, and awaken less often during the night.

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Good sleep hygiene

Good “sleep hygiene” is the term often used to include tips like maintaining a regular sleep-and-wake schedule, using the bedroom only for sleeping or sex, and keeping the bedroom dark and free of distractions like the computer or television.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Because people with insomnia tend to become preoccupied with not falling asleep, cognitive behavioral techniques help them to change negative expectations and try to build more confidence that they can have a good night’s sleep.

If doing some of these absolutely do not help you get a better nights sleep, there is always an option of trying various sleep medications. Of course, if you fall into one of the mental disorders, there are medical treatment options to help you as well.

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To learn more about sleep disorders, and how they can effect you, follow this link to a study done by Harvard.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/geralt-9301/ via pixabay.com

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Michael Daws

Aircraft Painter, Sports & Lifestyle Blogger

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

How to Overcome Boredom

How to Overcome Boredom

Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

What is Boredom?

We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

1. Get Focused

Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
  • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
  • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

2. Kill Procrastination

Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

Here are some ideas:

  • Do some exercise.
  • Read a book.
  • Learn something new.
  • Call a friend.
  • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
  • Do a spring cleaning.
  • Wash the car.
  • Renovate the house.
  • Re-arrange the furniture.
  • Write your shopping list.
  • Water the plants.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Sort out your mail & email.
  • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

3. Enjoy Boredom

If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

Reference

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