Lack of sleep and some seemingly insignificant, small sleep mistakes can make us more prone to depression and anxiety, which are the most common types of mental health disturbances. For example, insomnia is a well-known symptom of depression, but it can also be a sign of the manic phase of bipolar disorder.
Since the sleep mistakes we often make can easily turn into a pattern and become a part of our routine, it is essential to recognize them as wrong ones at the very beginning. We have created a list of some pretty common sleep mistakes which can have a negative impact on our overall wellbeing and mental health, so keep up reading to learn more about them.
Sleeping Too Little
As our first sleep mistake, we have the one that was expected, because sleeping less than those recommended 7 or 8 hours can become a serious problem if it becomes a habit. We all stay up late sometimes, but it should not turn into a regular thing since, in a lot of cases, it can trigger depression, anxiety, and symptoms of insomnia.
Sleeping Too Much
If you are wondering is it even possible to sleep too much, it is, and it can have the same negative effects as poor sleep. A few nights of extra sleep will do no harm, but again, if it becomes a part of your lifestyle, and you start sleeping over your weekends, it leads to disorders of circadian rhythm, daytime fatigue, depression, and cognitive issues.
Taking A Nightcap
You have probably heard about the “a glass of wine per day keeps the doctor away” mantra since in conjunction to that a lot of people prefer to take their daily dose of wine right before bedtime.
In most cases, that is fine, but it should be considered how alcohol impacts sleep. If you are a poor sleeper drinking alcohol late at night can disrupt your sleep and cause symptoms of insomnia, and mood disorders in the long run.
Having Poor Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene implies numerous different things which all have an impact on our sleep; usually, those are the things that we do right before our bedtime. In an ideal situation, you would not use your smartphone in bed, or expose yourself to any source of blue light, or stress, because you need to relax and prepare your mind and body for sleep.
So instead of catching up with emails and work, find a nice sensual sleeping position and try reading a book, or dim the lights and play a sound machine, it would be much more beneficial for your mental health.
Having Caffeine Before Bedtime
On a daily level, we tend to consume a lot of caffeine; we are drinking coffee, soda, tea, or eating chocolate, which all in most cases contain a decent amount of caffeine. Since caffeine is able to stay in our system for up to six hours, it is not recommended taking it during the late afternoon or evening hours, because it can hinder our sleep routine and cause insufficient sleep syndrome.
Staring at Your Smartphone
There are two reasons why we all should stop scrolling through our phone late at night. Firstly, it keeps us awake longer and causes stress, and secondly, the negative effects of blue light from electronic devices are hindering the production of melatonin, which results in disorders of the natural circadian rhythm.
Ignoring Symptoms of Sleep Disorders
As much as we hope that sleep disorders can go away on their own, in most cases that are not going to happen, so it is essential to visit a specialist as soon as you notice the symptoms.
For example, if you are snoring, you probably have sleep apnea, any tingling sensations in your legs are a sign of restless leg syndrome. And all those things that keep you up at night can also lead to emotional difficulties, depression, etc.
Sleeping Over Your Weekends
Weekends are meant for staying in bed a bit longer, but sleeping should not become the only thing you do during the weekends. Since that is significantly different from your sleep routine during the work days, it can cause a disbalance in your circadian rhythm, mood swings, fatigue, and on the long run symptoms of anxiety and mood disorders.
Staying Up Late
Going out occasionally, or watching a movie late at night once in a while will not leave any consequences, but if staying up too late becomes a part of your routine, it can cause you more issues in the long run. Chronic sleep deprivation, excessive daytime sleepiness, chronic fatigue, sleep disorders, and poor mood are only a few of many drawbacks that go along with staying up late.
Sleep and mental health are important, but somehow we all tend to neglect them from time to time; hence, we hope you find our advice helpful, and that you will start practicing them to save your sleep and mental hygiene from any potential issues.