Importance of Sleep for Mental Health

The technological revolution and evolution of smart devices has made the human life easy and entertaining. However, this smart evolution has also caused enough derogating effects that are irrevocable. Lack of proper sleep is one of main causes of the prevailing health problems such as physical stress, heart and respiratory ailments, depression, anxiety disorders, fatigue, mental distress and weak immunity. The chronic ailments include pre-mature aging, eye problems, obesity, diabetes, hallucinations, Alzheimer and risk of accidents. Poor stability of mental health has a direct impact on the eating habits and physical body. Sleeping is necessary for adults and children in order to maintain the balance between emotional behaviour and physical well-being.

How is sleep beneficial to the mental health

1.      Cellular structuring and rejuvenation

While sleeping the human body relaxes the muscles completely. The body gets repaired by itself at cellular level. All the old and dying cells are destroyed to create plenty of space for the formation of new cells. With the formation of these new cells, the body functions to structure its cellular linkages throughout the sleeping time.  Brain remains highly active during the sleep as it washes out the toxic proteins and allows the brain to form the long lasting memories. Sleep also helps the body to build a strong immune system. When the entire body has new cells, clean brain and relaxed muscles, it is said to be rejuvenated with elevated levels of energy. This alleviates the stress and stops the manifestations of depression and anxiety.

2.      Physical well-being

When a person sleeps lesser than required amount of time, then he looks pale and dull. The person lacks energy to do any work. This lack of energy induces the negativity into a person’s character such as lethargy and procrastination. As there is disturbance in the energy balance, it weakens the immune system of the body and leads to anxiety, blood pressure and heart problems. Irregular sleeping habits directly affect the functioning of brain as it comprises the thinking and problem solving capacity and other related cognitive abilities of brain such as learning and concentration. Short term memory loss and vision loss is caused due to sleep deprivation. The sleeping habits not only affect the psychological and emotional behaviour of the person but also physical well-being, appearances and vitality. Hence, it is important to get adequate sleep every day to project the self as an energetic and positive person.

  • Healing power and promotes growth

Sleeping for longer hours has a natural tendency to cure the illness as it lets the body to fight off and flush out the infection causing agents. It acts as the best medicine for the people who are under stress or depression. It regulates the flow of body hormones and controls the mood swings. The prolonged sleeping for hours is the positive sign of body trying to retain normalcy and simultaneously helping itself to get rid of the illness.

It also promotes the healthy body growth and development at all age levels. The best and well-known example is the rapid growth and development of an infant and toddlers. It is very important for the infants and toddlers to sleep between 12 and 16 hours per day, according to their age group. It promotes the fast-paced development of the tiny body organs to grow into mature organs. Sleep is also responsible for a healthy increase in the weight of babies. This concept holds equally good for the adults as well. However, the rate of growth and development of the internal body components is much slower for adults and depends on the age factor.  

  • Health and fitness

Sleeping is equally important as eating to maintain the health and fitness levels. Thus, it is important to sleep at a routine scheduled timing to be fit and healthy. Avoid any sleep inducing medications such as anti-depressants or anxiety related medicines. Instead of such medications, a person can choose to eat the healthy foods that can induce sleep naturally. Drink milk and lots of fluids to maintain low stress levels and to stay away from dehydration or illness. Avoid alcohol or caffeine. Avoid using music players, smartphones, tablets, laptops or any electronic device, instead try to stay calm and practice reading a good book or meditate before regular bedtime. Sleep in a quiet, dark and cool environment to maintain both quantity and quality sleep.

  • Linked with human psychology

Sleep deprivation leads to huge mood swings which results in mental exhaustion, sadness, anger, irritability, abusive behaviour, self-hurting and suicidal opinions. It also brings noticeable negative changes in conducting the social interactions and engagements. Don’t hold a fight, argument or negative talks before the bedtime, as this sows the seeds of worrisome and nightmares. Instead, talk sensibly and indulge into positives, often. Beware that, sleep operates at sub-conscious level. Therefore, there is deep link between human psychology and sleep.                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Conclusion

 There are many causes for sleep deprivation such as stressful working hours, elderly and children at home, sleeping disorders such as restlessness, waking up frequently. There are many global research studies that have proved that the sleeping is one of highly productive activity for human health. Hence, proper care must be taken of one’s own health, considering the effects that lack of sleep can cause during the long-run. If the sleeping disorders don’t get away easily, then seek advice from the medical practitioner immediately.      

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