Most people recognize that sleep is important. It helps to repair your muscles. It keeps your brain working properly. Simply put, it ensures that your mind and body are functioning the way they should.
When it comes to mental health though, sleep is crucial.
If you already have certain mental health conditions, a lack of sleep can make them worse. That often causes a cycle that’s difficult to break, fueling things like depression and anxiety. As a result, it becomes even harder to sleep, and the pattern continues.
So, why is sleep really so crucial for your mental health? What can you do if you’re struggling with a sleep disorder?
You Need Sleep to Think Clearly
Sleep impacts the brain in more ways than one. Not sleeping well for a few days can make you feel “foggy.” A few days more might make it hard to make decisions.
But, long-term sleep issues make it difficult to think clearly. You might feel like your emotions are all over the place, and your behaviors might start to change. When you can’t keep your emotions on an even level, it’s easy to feel anxious, then fall back into a depressed state.
Not being able to think clearly is dangerous. If you’re distracted or just cannot focus, you could put yourself at risk of getting in a car accident or doing something else to put yourself in harm’s way. Your everyday performance might also start to suffer. That can lead to problems at work or school, which often fuel feelings of depression and perpetuate the cycle.
Your mind needs time to recharge and “shut down” each night so you can think clearly in the morning. Some people have success with mindfulness and meditation, especially before bed, to promote rest and relaxation.
Relationships Can Suffer
A lack of sleep can cause certain areas of your life to become strained. That includes the important relationships you’re a part of every day. Because it can be hard to control your emotions, you might find yourself “snapping” at people you love.
Or, if you’re prone to anxiety, it can be easier to come up with thoughts about certain people that you know aren’t true. But, when you’re struggling without sleep, it’s much easier to believe unrealistic fears and let them start to take over.
When you’re dealing with mental health issues, having a support system is so important. If you’re pushing everyone in your life away because you can’t control your emotions, it should be a sign that help is needed.
How Can CBT Help You Sleep?
There are many treatment options for insomnia and sleep deprivation. The most important thing to do is find out what’s causing the sleep issues to begin with. If you have an underlying mental health condition, getting to the root of that issue and working through it can make getting a good night’s rest much easier.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is another great option for dealing with poor sleep quality.
When you choose CBT to help with insomnia, you’ll learn how to identify the thoughts causing you to lose sleep. You’ll then be able to replace them with thoughts, behaviors, and habits that will actually promote and improve your sleep quality.
Over time, CBT can help you overcome the underlying issues that are causing your insomnia. That’s something sleeping pills, or other “DIY” solutions can’t do.
If you’re having trouble sleeping at night and you’re ready to get to the bottom of it, feel free to contact us. We can discuss what to expect from your CBT sessions and how they can help you get the sleep you deserve.