Sleep is Essential for Mental Health

When you’re suffering from a mental disorder, sleep can be so difficult. Insomnia is a common symptom of many mental illnesses, as well as night terrors and sleep paralysis


Lack of sleep can have terrible effects on mental health. It can worsen mental health issues, lower immune systems (why college students are always sick), increase stress, lead to  weight gain, etc.


College students are almost always sleep deprived, according to the University of Georgia Health Center, the average college student gets 6 hours of sleep per night.


College is notorious for late night study sessions, binge watching and parties. When we spend our week finishing procrastinated work and vegging out on our laptops until 3 a.m., then spend our weekend closing out the bars, when are we supposed to catch up on sleep?


The UG study showed that lack of sleep can lead to lowered immune systems which, in a germ covered dorm surrounded by other people, means colds, flu and constant coughs. 


The study also showed that lack of sleep lowers GPAs, which means late night cramming for finals is worse than not studying at all. 


Sleep deprivation affects every part of our lives. For anyone coping with depression, anxiety or mood disorders, exhaustion means an increase in all of our symptoms. So when we don’t take responsibility for our sleep, we are sabotaging ourselves.


What’s the point in antidepressants and mood stabilizers if we are going to ignore the things that keeps us healthy. 


Sleep is essential to our mental health, so here are some tips for healthy sleep from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


  • “Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends

  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature

  • Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom

  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime

  • Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.”