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Study Finds Lack Of Sleep Can Severely Harm Your Mental Health

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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 November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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