Sleep and Your Mental Health

By Gill Garratt

Part of CBT at Work For Dummies Cheat Sheet

During sleep, your brain processes your learning and encourages brain cells to make connections with other brain cells. Sleep is one of the most important things you’ll do all day (or night) so always strive to get a good night’s sleep.

  • There are different types of sleep — restorative sleep, healing sleep, and dream sleep

  • During dream sleep, rapid eye movements can be observed REM — this sleep is essential for health cognitive functioning.

  • You sleep in ‘chunks,’ the dream sleep occurs in waves and after falling into a deep sleep, your sleep patterns show lighter sleep.

  • Your depth and quality of sleep can be affected by intake of alcohol. You may fall into a deep sleep quickly but then after about four hours, you tend to wake suddenly and unrefreshed.

  • Sleep deprivation is a major factor in negatively affecting mental health.

  • During sleep, your immune system is boosted and encourages white blood cells to generate, which fight off infections.

  • People sleep in cycles, often thought to be a vestige of ancient behaviours where people would wake every so often to be aware of danger, important to survival.

  • When you are stressed and anxious, you may find it is hard to get off to sleep or you fall asleep, only to wake feeling anxious a couple of hours later.

  • Sleep disturbances are a major indicator of an imbalance in your emotional states.