non-restorative sleep

A Look at Non-Restorative Sleep’s Implications on Mental Health

When we fail to reach restorative sleep, there can be many different implications. It’s no secret that poor sleep quality can take a massive toll on our mental health, but exactly how is the question.

If you find yourself tossing and turning at night or waking up feeling like you haven’t slept at all despite how many hours you’ve slept, we’ve got an interesting read for you.

Let’s take a look into non-restorative sleep and mental health. We’ll also share some tips for getting restorative tips and knowing when you need to see a specialist. Keep reading to learn more.

Short-Term Memory Loss

Sleep deprivation may increase symptoms of mental health conditions like short-term memory loss. The quality of our sleep shapes these and many other mental and physical health issues. One example is a person’s concentration or attention span.

The existing research has proven that non-restorative sleep detracts from effective thinking. People who lack quality sleep or suffer from sleep apnea are more likely to fail to take in new information.

They also tend to make errors, have impaired decision-making, or suffer deficits in memory. As a result, non-restorative sleep can harm intellectual performance, creative pursuits, academic achievement, and one’s productivity at work.

If you feel like you are experiencing these non-restorative sleep effects, you must see a psychologist. A psychologist will ask you to take a psychological assessment as well as a sleep apnea test. At Bird & Associates Psychological Services, we will refer you to the best sleep apnea test facilitator in our network. These tests and assessments will help your psychologist get you the restorative sleep you need.

Negative Moods

Non-restorative sleep and mood disorders are closely linked. It’s almost a catch 22 – poor sleep quality can affect your mood, and your mood can affect the quality of your sleep. 

Research shows people who suffer from non-restorative sleep report an increase in negative moods. Negative moods can range from irritability, anger, frustration, to sadness. Research has also found that poor sleep quality also leads to a decrease in positive moods.

Poor sleep quality is often a symptom of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Not only are they symptoms, but the quality of your sleep can even contribute to developing certain mood disorders.

When you are feeling anxious and stressed, it can be challenging to sleep well. You may find yourself feeling agitated and worked up at night despite the number of hours you sleep. Also, some people experience anxiety making its way into their dreams and waking up feeling like they haven’t slept at all.

If you are in the Halifax area and you feel like you can’t turn your brain off, contact a local Halifax psychologist now. A psychologist can help you get the right kind of sleep your body and mind need.

Clinical Depression

Clinical depression deserves its own category when it comes to negative moods. There are feelings of irritability, anger, and frustration, but sometimes they do not compare to the feeling of sadness and hopelessness. Around 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression.

Studies show that a reported 75% of depressed people experience symptoms of insomnia. Many people with depression also experience hypersomnia. Hypersomnia, unlike insomnia, is excessive daytime sleepiness or sleeping too much.

In the past, insomnia and non-restorative sleep were seen as consequences of depression. Yet, growing evidence is now saying otherwise. It turns out that poor sleep may actually exacerbate or even induce depression.

Now, the door is opened for new types of treatment for depression. Gone are the days where pharmaceutics and standard therapy were your only options. Recent research has shown that a focus on improving sleep quality may reduce symptoms of depression. 

Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia

For those who suffer from fibromyalgia and chronic pain, non-restorative sleep is one of the primary complaints. In a study of fibromyalgia patients, 65.7% reported non-restorative sleep. Empirical data supports the idea that fibromyalgia and chronic pain are strongly associated with non-restorative sleep.

However, studies have yet to determine whether non-restorative sleep precedes fibromyalgia and chronic pain, or vice versa. Also, there is no definitive treatment for fibromyalgia or chronic pain. So it is unknown whether non-restorative sleep would resolve once fibromyalgia or chronic pain is successfully treated.

Tips for Getting Restorative Sleep

Good sleep habits, or “sleep hygiene,” can help you get a good night’s sleep. If you need a sure-fire way to get restorative sleep, we suggest seeing a professional and getting a sleep apnea assessment. We have a great network of specialists outside of our practice that we use for apnea assessments.

During a sleep apnea assessment, your body is hooked up to equipment that monitors your body. The equipment will monitor your breathing patterns, your heart, lung, brain activity, and arm and leg movements. Your blood oxygen levels, while you’re asleep, are also tracked.

Despite whatever treatment your specialist gives you, there is something important to note. It may take around six months to experience the full effect of having sleep apnea treated before you get relief.
Some habits that can improve your sleep health:

  • Meditation before bedtime
  • A relaxing Epsom salt soak in the tub
  • Keeping a consistent bedtime
  • Ending screen time at least 30 minutes to one hour before going to bed
  • Keeping your room dark and cool while you sleep

Non-Restorative Sleep: The Effects on Our Mental Health

Do you ever find yourself tossing and turning at night or waking up feeling like you haven’t slept at all despite how many hours you slept? When we fail to reach restorative sleep, there can be many different implications. We hope our brief guide gave you some further insight into exactly how non-restorative sleep can take a massive toll on our mental health. 

If you feel like you’ve been experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, please do not hesitate to contact our team at Bird & Associates Psychological Services. We can help you get the psychological care you need as well as connect you with a sleep apnea specialist outside of our practice. We are looking forward to helping you get the quality sleep you deserve!

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