Despite advances in neuroscience during the past several decades, sleep continues to remain mostly a mystery. We know we need it as much as water, food and air. We can go weeks without eating food, but what would happen if you went weeks without sleep? Maybe you have. Various degrees of insomnia, and official sleep disorders, are serious conditions. But, what about periodic anxieties that are significant enough to disrupt our sleep. Missing one night of sleep can disrupt our normal biorhythms enough to disrupt the next night’s, and the next!
Anxiety, for the most part, originates in the mind. The body sensations and feelings we have surrounding anxiety occur because of the psychosomatic nature of our mind-body system. In other words, when we think about situations, even if subconsciously, that appear to be in some way a threat or potential danger, hormones and chemicals are secreted from glands which then give rise to the physiological experiences of tension, tightness, constriction.
These are useful in fight or flight situations, which we believe, at a subconscious level, exist — even if they don’t. The perceived threat or danger is mostly psychological and consists of “what if” statements and pictures in the mind, that are at best unpleasant, and at most, lifestyle threatening. Most all, anxiety is about a future that is, factually, unknown. Anxiety is based on a lot of conjecture.
If you’re too anxious to sleep, there are things you can do to help set up an environment, both internal and external, more conducive to sleep. Consider these tips: Continue reading Sleeping With Anxiety: 5 Tips to Stop Sharing a Bed With Your Worries
Many of us wear our lack of sleep as a badge of honor. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2013 sleep deprivation was responsible for 72,000 crashes and 800 deaths. The numbers may be slightly underreported; the real number could be closer to 6,000 fatalities.
Many of us look at sleep as a barrier to success, fun and self-fulfillment, even though sleep deprivation is physiologically and psychologically dangerous. Lack of sleep has been cited as cause in disasters such as the Chernobyl meltdown, the space shuttle Challenger explosion and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. It’s time to face up to the risks associated with our culture of sleep deprivation. Continue reading How Sleep Deprivation Hurts Your Mental Health
New research suggests our preferred sleep positions influence the brain’s ability to get rid of metabolic waste, which ultimately affects our overall cognitive function and the manifestation of neurological disease. So, pay attention.
You may or may not be aware that our brains engage in a cleansing process that gets rid of metabolic waste when we go sleep. It’s called the glymphatic system, and it’s super cool! Here’s a brief educational video about how it works from our friends at The University of Rochester Medical School.
Continue reading The Surprising Way Your Sleep Position Affects Your Brain!
As a chronic insomniac, I can honestly tell you that getting enough sleep is crucial for anyone, but especially for those battling mental health disorders.
– by Anonymous Talkspace User
I want you to look back on your life and think about your mood, behavior, and interactions with other people when you’ve had less than 5 hours of sleep. You were probably irritable, highly susceptible to engaging in conflict, and slow in you thinking but quick in your reactions to unpleasant stimuli. Now, imagine being sleep deprived, while also dealing with a mental disorder. Basically, not sleeping can exacerbate any mental condition, making it significantly worse in people who have trouble sleeping as opposed to those that don’t. Continue reading Dear Therapist: I Know You Can’t Help Me Unless I Sleep
Do you sleep like Nikola Tesla or Barack Obama?
Ever wonder how some of world’s most incredible people got their beauty sleep? Well, wonder no more. We’ve found the coolest infographic that breaks down the surprising sleep habits of the rich and famous. Turns out Leonardo Da Vinci utilized a crazy polyphasic sleep cycle, while Richard Branson prefers a fixated block of solid snooze time. Continue reading Surprising Sleep Habits of the Rich and Famous