Man sleeping and working

The Connection Between Mental Health and Sleep

The more we learn about sleep, the more we realize it is the foundation for health and wellness. For many years, mental health issues such as depression, PTSD, and anxiety have been pinpointed as the cause of poor sleep. However, recent research shows that it could be the other way around in some cases! Lack of consistent sleep could be the cause of some mental health issues.

Let’s look at depression. An analysis of 21 different studies found that people who suffer from insomnia have twice the probability of developing depression compared to those who do not have problems sleeping. 

Research around anxiety had similar conclusions. Insomnia appeared to be a risk factor for developing anxiety disorders. One of these studies concluded that problems with sleep were a predictor for generalized anxiety disorder in children and teens between the ages of nine and 16.9 Additionally, those who struggle with sleep problems may be more likely to develop an anxiety condition, particularly if their sleep problems are prolonged and left untreated.

What about PTSD? Sleep deprivation is not only a common symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affecting between 80% to 90% of people with the condition but it is also believed to play a role in both the development and maintenance of this disorder.

These are just a few examples of how sleep, or lack thereof, can impact mental health. For this reason, we recommend that our patients undergoing Ketamine Infusion Therapy treatments do their best to improve the quality of their sleep each night. Here are our top tips:

Natural Light Exposure In The Mornings

Exposure to natural sunlight in the morning helps us regulate our natural circadian rhythms, also known as our natural body clock. Our circadian rhythm tells us when to go to bed, wake, eat, and even when to release mood-altering hormones. So, in addition to the sleep benefit, it will boost your immune system, lower stress, and regulate your appetite!

No Caffeine 12 Hours Before Bedtime

Many of us love our morning joe, but consuming it too late in the day can impact our sleep. As a rule of thumb, we have found that by giving yourself a 12-hour window of no caffeine, sleep improves significantly! So, for example, if you want to go to bed by 10 pm, don’t consume caffeine after 10 am that day.

Avoid Screens Before Bedtime

Minimizing screen time at night is an excellent tip for a few reasons. First, exposing your eyes to light before you try to go to sleep disturbs your circadian rhythm (see the sun exposure tip above). It tricks your mind into thinking you are starting your day rather than ending it. In addition, our screens are often TVs, smartphones, or ipads where we are taking in information such as news, or work emails, which could cause added stress, making it difficult to sleep. Try reading or listening to music as an alternative.

While sleep isn’t the only answer to mental health issues, it is a considerable component that we are discovering more and more about how important it is for overall wellness. So whether you are undergoing treatment of any kind for any mental health condition or not, improving your sleep is the path to elevating your overall physical and mental health.

To learn more about Ketamine Infusion Therapy, click here or call 505-639-4973