Our bodies need sleep. If you’ve experienced a sleepless night, you probably spent the next day tired, grumpy, and unmotivated. These symptoms are common after just one night of no sleep. However, going night after night without sleep can have serious effects on your mental health. The three effects listed below are just some of the many problems caused by lack of sleep.
1. Decreased Brain Function
Going just 24 hours without sleep results in poor judgment, impaired coordination, and memory loss. In fact, those who have gone an entire day without sleep have the same cognitive impairment as a person with a blood-alcohol level of 0.10 percent. You may also experience mood swings, mental fatigue, and inability to focus.
The longer you go without sleep, the worse your brain function becomes. Hallucinations, disorientation, and blackouts are all effects of not sleeping.
2. Increase in Depression and Anxiety
Doctors have seen a link between how much sleep someone gets and their mood. For example, individuals who suffer from insomnia are 10 times more likely to be depressed and 17 times more likely to have anxiety than those who sleep normally.
Those who regularly miss sleep may experience the same symptoms as someone who’s clinically depressed. You may be more irritable, less motivated, and consistently feel sad or empty. Additionally, insomnia can lead to the development of anxiety disorders, helplessness, frustration, and being unable to concentrate.
If you or a loved one are continuously not sleeping, it’s important to watch for these signs and symptoms. These mood changes can have a critical effect not only on an individual’s mental health, but on the family dynamic as well.
3. Risk of Psychiatric Disturbances
Long-term lack of sleep can result in a number of psychiatric disturbances such as paranoia, hallucinations, or disorientation. These symptoms are similar to those of individuals suffering from schizophrenia.
Research has also found that the relationship between sleep and mental illness is “more circular than causal.” Individuals who suffer from insomnia or consistently miss getting a good night’s sleep are at risk of developing a mental illness such as depression. In more extreme cases, some individuals may develop bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or PTSD.
Boost Your Mental Health
We all experience late nights. However, if you or someone you love is suffering from lack of sleep effects, it’s important to discuss treatment options with your doctor. Left unchecked, your mental health could take a serious hit. If you’re looking for professional help, contact us at Vista Del Mar Behavioral Hospital. We have plenty of available programs that can help you create better sleep patterns and improve your mental health.