The Importance of Sleep for Mental Health

Sleep / InsomniaStress

Sleep is something we know is important, in fact it is just as vital as eating, drinking and breathing every single day. Most of us realise that sleep can greatly impact our mental health. A good night’s sleep leaves us feeling great and a bad night’s sleep leaves us feeling terrible. So what are the mental health benefits of sleep and why is it so essential?

Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together - Thomas Dekker

Less stress

Everyone has their magic number of how many hours of sleep they need each night. This amount is what we require in order to feel fully rested and energised for a new day. When we don’t get enough sleep we often have much less patience and will become much more irritable than normal. Getting a minimum of 7 hours sleep helps us to feel less stressed, which can minimise feelings of anxiety and overwhelm.

Better focus

Getting proper sleep each night greatly improves our concentration levels and ability to focus for extended periods. If you are tired it becomes difficult to maintain focus on any task. Proper sleep helps your brain to function properly; to absorb information and apply logical reasoning. By allowing your body a full night’s rest, your mind will be much clearer and you can work optimally throughout the day.

Improved memory

When we sleep, the ‘consolidation stage’ of our memory is working throughout the night to become stronger. Our brains work on organising and consolidating our memories and any information we have learnt that day. This is why when we wake up the next day, we can remember the information and new things we learnt from the previous day.

Positive mood 

Have you ever been asked, “Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed?” There is actually a lot of truth to this saying. A good night’s sleep can drastically impact our mood and outlook. When we have a great sleep we feel more energised, positive and capable of taking on new challenges in the day. If we don’t sleep properly or get enough hours of sleep, we often feel angry, sad and much more irritable. 

Nutrition and exercise

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book – Irish Proverb

Proper sleep each night can significantly impact our ability to make healthier choices in relation to food and exercise. With a clearer mind and more energy after a good sleep, we are more likely to make better decisions. Moving our body and eating nutritious foods can significantly increase our mental state and help reduce feelings of depression.

Our mental health can improve a lot when we get proper sleep every night. Allowing our body the time to rest fully and recover from the day, impacts our thinking and overall mindset. Making a good night’s sleep a daily priority should be everyone’s goal for better health.

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