Posted by Aston Avery

Listen: how poor sleep could impact our mental health

National Sleep Awareness Week takes place this year from the 13th–19th March. The slogan for this
year’s campaign is ‘Quality sleep, sound mind, happy world’, underlining that good sleep has a direct
positive effect on our mental health, and the ability to transform our overall outlook.

This year, perhaps more than ever, we should all be taking note. According to a recent survey by The
Mental Health Foundation of 4,437 UK adults aged 18+, nearly half (48%) of adults agreed that sleeping
badly has a negative effect on their mental health. Adults reported that they felt more irritable or angry
(43%), more stressed and overwhelmed (42%), more anxious (35%) and more tearful (21%) in the
previous month because of poor sleep.

It’s long been known that people with psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, paranoia,
bipolar disorder, and ADHD don’t sleep well. Until recently, it was assumed their sleep difficulties were a
product of the psychological problem. But research suggests that the process may also work in the
opposite direction: persistent sleep problems may help cause and exacerbate a number of common
mental illnesses.

Aston spoke to Ana Brito, Sleep8’s resident sleep coach, insomnia expert and therapist.

Photo by Greg Rivers on Unsplash

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