Benefits of sleep and why sleep is good for your mental health

We may not think about sleep too much, but we know that it is beneficial in some way. We often feel ‘out of sorts’ after a bad night’s sleep but are ready to take on anything after a good night’s sleep. So what are the benefits of sleep for our mental health and why is sleep so important?

We may not think about sleep too much, but we know that it is beneficial in some way. We often feel ‘out of sorts’ after a bad night’s sleep but are ready to take on anything after a good night’s sleep. So what are the benefits of sleep for our mental health and why is sleep so important?

 

How sleep can benefit your mental health

Sharpens your attention

You’ve probably noticed that the more tired you are, the more difficult it is for you to concentrate on something. When we lack sleep, we find it hard to take in vast amounts of information. If you are well rested, you will have a clearer mind and a sharper focus.

 

Improves your memory

There are three stages of forming a memory. The first is acquisition, which is when you introduce the information to your brain. The second stage is consolidation; this is when the memory is strengthened. The final stage is recall, which is when – you guessed it – we access the information that we stored. Acquisition and recall happen when we are awake, and consolidation happens when we’re asleep. When we are sleeping our brain consolidates and organises our memories, which helps us to remember what we learned the previous day.

 

Lowers your stress

Have you ever noticed how the little things bother you more if you haven’t slept long enough the night before? Researchers suggest that sleep deprivation makes us more irritable and we react negatively to minor annoyances and interruptions. A survey from the American Psychological Association also reported that adults who slept fewer than eight hours a night were more likely to report symptoms of stress than those who slept eight or more hours.

 

Need more convincing to give up your study and work all-nighters? In addition to the mental health benefits of sleep, it can also help your physical health. Studies have suggested that there is a link between prolonged sleep deprivation and health problems like heart disease and diabetes.

Your sleep needs may vary, but most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night, whereas children and teenagers will need more sleep.

 

If you are struggling, call SuicideLine Victoria 1300 651 251.

If it is an emergency, call 000.

More from mental health

Positive self-talk

Self-talk is your inner voice that runs throughout the day. It can help you process experiences, make decisions, ask questions, and influence how you feel. Understand how positive self-talk can help to improve your day and wellbeing.

Read more

What are the symptoms of anxiety and what can cause anxiety?

Many of us feel anxious when we have a stressful event or situation coming up, and we are worried about it. This feeling is temporary and usually goes away after the event or situation has ended. Anxiety is when that feeling of anxiousness does not go away and is long term. Find out more about the symptoms of anxiety and what can cause anxiety.

Read more

What is social anxiety?

Social anxiety is more than just feeling nervous about a social function or event. People who have social anxiety feel an extreme sense of fear and anxiety in social settings and everyday interactions. They often know their fear may be unreasonable, but they are unable to overcome it. Learn how to spot the signs.

Read more

Positive self-talk

Self-talk is your inner voice that runs throughout the day. It can help you process experiences, make decisions, ask questions, and influence how you feel. Understand how positive self-talk can help to improve your day and wellbeing.

Read more

What are the symptoms of anxiety and what can cause anxiety?

Many of us feel anxious when we have a stressful event or situation coming up, and we are worried about it. This feeling is temporary and usually goes away after the event or situation has ended. Anxiety is when that feeling of anxiousness does not go away and is long term. Find out more about the symptoms of anxiety and what can cause anxiety.

Read more

What is social anxiety?

Social anxiety is more than just feeling nervous about a social function or event. People who have social anxiety feel an extreme sense of fear and anxiety in social settings and everyday interactions. They often know their fear may be unreasonable, but they are unable to overcome it. Learn how to spot the signs.

Read more