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Explains sleep and mental health, gives practical suggestions and information about where to get support. This is also available in Welsh Cymraeg. View this information as a PDF new window. Order this information as a print booklet. There's a close relationship between sleep and mental health. Living with a mental health problem can affect how well you sleep, and poor sleep can have a negative impact on your mental health.
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Worrying le to poor sleep. Worrying about sleep is like your mind trying to fight itself.
That's a horrible place to be. Everyone needs sleep, but many of us have problems with it.
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You might recognise some of the experiences listed below, or have other difficulties with sleep that aren't mentioned here. I barely have energy to function. For more information about sleep disorders, see the Mental Health Foundation and Royal College of Psychiatrists websites, and our list of useful contacts. This le to not sleeping and worrying most of the night. If problems with sleep are worrying you or affecting your day to day life, it's a good idea to see a doctor who can give you a health check and help you access treatment and support.
If you fill in a sleep diaryyou could take this to your appointment to show your doctor.
I still haven't found out what works for me as I can get to sleep once I do get to bed. If you live with a mental health problem, this could affect your sleep in lots of ways.
For example:. References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our on permissions and licensing. Coronavirus: Find our information and support and more on our work. How to cope with sleep problems Explains sleep and mental health, gives practical suggestions and information about where to get support. About sleep and mental health Tips to improve your sleep Useful contacts.
Toggle Sleep problems. How does sleep relate to mental health?
What problems might I have with sleep? You might: find it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep or wake up earlier than you'd like to also known as insomnia — find out more on the NHS website have problems that disturb your sleep, such as panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares or psychosis find it hard to wake up or get out of bed often feel tired or sleepy — this could be because you're not sleeping enough, not getting good quality sleep or because of health problems sleep a lot — which could include sleeping at times when you want, or need, to be awake.
If you're having problems sleeping, you might: be more likely to feel anxiousdepressed or suicidal be more likely to have psychotic episodes — poor sleep can trigger maniapsychosis or paranoiaor make existing symptoms worse feel lonely or isolated — for example, if you don't have the energy to see people or they don't seem to understand struggle to concentrate, or make plans and decisions feel irritable or not have energy to do things have problems with day to day life — for example, at work or with family and friends be more affected by other health problems, including mental health problems.
What causes problems with sleep?
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The things that affect our sleep differ for everyone. They can include: stresses or worries — for example, issues with moneyhousing or work problems with where you sleep — for example, if you sleep somewhere uncomfortable or you're easily disturbed health conditions relating to sleep, also known as sleep disorders being a parent or carer taking medicationincluding starting or coming off medication recreational drugs and alcohol working at night or being a shift worker current or past trauma mental and physical health problems, many of which can affect your sleep.
How could mental health problems affect my sleep?
For example: Anxiety can cause racing or repetitive thoughts, and worries that keep you awake. You may also have panic attacks while you're trying to sleep. Depression and seasonal affective disorder SAD can make you sleep more, including staying in bed for longer or sleeping more often. Depression can also cause insomnia. If you've gone through traumathis can cause flashbacksnightmares or night terrors that disturb your sleep.
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You might feel unsafe or uncomfortable in bed or in the dark. Paranoia and psychosis may make it difficult to sleep. You may hear voicesor see things you find frightening or disturbing. Mania often causes feelings of energy and elation, so you might not feel tired or want to sleep. Racing thoughts can also keep you awake and cause insomnia.
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Psychiatric medication can cause side effects including insomnia, disturbed sleep, nightmares and oversleeping. Stopping psychiatric drugs can also cause sleep problems. How my sleep pattern highlighted my failing mental health "My sleep was the first red flag that started waving wildly to warn me that something was wrong.
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How to cope with sleep problems
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