Page written and resources collated by Jude Mitchell, Lead Wellbeing Practitioner
There is a close relationship between sleep and mental health, mental health problems can cause sleep disruption and poor sleep can be a contributory factor in poor mental health.
Sleep can be disturbed in lots of different ways, including:
- You might find it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep or wake early
- You might have experiences which disturb your sleep, such as nightmares, flashbacks or panic attacks.
- You may find it hard to get going in the morning
- You may find that you are often sleepy or tired a lot
- You might find that your sleep routine is disturbed, perhaps you are awake through the night and sleep a lot during the day.
There are many things which can affect your sleep; Stress, changed routine (for, example becoming a parent, working shifts or spending time socialising late into or through the night), problems with where you sleep or habits which affect your levels of alertness (everything from night time routines to the use of drugs and / or alcohol), can all cause sleep disruption. Additionally physical and mental health issues can impact on sleep in a number of ways. This shows how common sleep disturbance is, and most of the time they are short lived and easily managed by a change of routine or lifestyle.
Ongoing sleep problems can lead to changes in your mood, affect your cognitive functioning (make it hard to concentration, think clearly and feel orientated), make it hard to do the things that you want or need to do on a day to day basis and in some circumstances can increase risk of psychotic experience.
In the information below you will find a number of suggestions of things which you can do to improve your sleep, if you find that the problems are ongoing, or are starting to affect your wellbeing you should contact your GP to discuss it.