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Importance of Sleep for Good Mental Health

A normal human being spends almost a third of their lives asleep. Sleep is one of the most important aspects of human life that can affect our health in a big way. Proper rest is not only important for a healthy body but is just as important for a healthy mind. In absence of a good sleep, you can’t have proper rest. Psychiatrists from different parts of the world have been harping on the importance of sleep for good mental health.

Importance of Sleep for Good Mental Health

Importance of Sleep for Good Mental Health

The relation between good sleep and proper mental health happens to be bi-directional. Proper sleep can help you to maintain good mental health but lack of it can lead to several psychological problems. On the other hand, it has also been found that various psychiatric imbalances and issues can also lead to poor sleep patterns. However, when we talk of ‘Mental Health’ it includes various other parameters than just your mood swings. It will include aspects like your concentration level, memory, personality, reasoning, and thinking pattern. Proper sleep can improve all these aspects to a large extent.(1, 2)

Science has proven that your brain activity does fluctuate considerably while you sleep. They often decrease or increase at different stages of your sleep which as a whole affects your entire sleep cycle and sleep quality. In the stage of non-rapid eye movement of your sleep, your brain activity reduces considerably. However, at this time you can have a quick burst of energy intermittently. The rate of your brain activity increases during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep which is why you get intense dreams during this stage of your sleep.(3)

In every stage of your life, your brain health gets affected by the quality of your sleep. It affects aspects like memory, learning, thinking, reasoning, etc. Your brain activity and the way it increases or decreases can have a profound effect on your mental health and emotions. Sufficient quality sleep often has better brain processing of emotional information. When you sleep well your brain evaluates your memories, concentration, and thoughts in a better way.(2) In its absence, positive emotional content gets reduced by a huge margin. This can be really harmful to your mental health and can lead to negative behaviors.

Effect of Sleep on Various Mental Health Issues

Mental health happens to be a highly diversified domain. Different aspects are included in this territory which can get affected rather adversely if you have an inadequate and poor quality of sleep. Let us take a detailed look at all these conditions:

Sleep and Depression:

Research has clearly revealed that nearly 300 million people suffer from depression all across the world and experience different types of mood swings, disorders, feelings of hopelessness and sadness. Nearly 75% of these patients with clinical depression have chronic insomnia.(4) Traditionally, it was thought that sleeplessness is a condition that often stems from the condition of depression. However, in recent times it has been found that insomnia or poor sleeping pattern can lead to renewed depression.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Sleep:

This is a condition where a particular phase of the year can affect your mood swings or bring in bouts of depression in a severe manner. Often people living in Northern climates experience seasonal affective disorder during the winter or the fall season when the span of daylight is reduced. This is a condition that affects a person’s psyche when their internal biological clock gets distracted. This is the time of the year when the individuals experience changes in their sleeping patterns.(4, 5)

Sleep and Anxiety Disorders:

Anxiety disorder is a common issue worldwide. If not taken care of in time, people suffering from this condition often get other physiological problems like diabetes, hypertension, or cardiac issues. This problem includes various other subcategories of anxiety-like social anxiety disorder, general anxiety disorder, phobias, panic disorders, OCD, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Your sleeping pattern has a deep connection with anxiety disorders.(5) People who suffer from this problem have the habit of replaying negative events in their minds as a result of which they get nightmares. When they sleep this definitely affects their resting hours and leads to very poor sleep quality.


Human mental health and cognitive functioning are complex domains. The nature of problems in this arena and their relationship with your sleeping patterns is tricky.

However, it can be said that we can all benefit from improving the quality of sleep. (1) Poor sleeping patterns can not only aggravate existing mental problems but can also lead to new ones. Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, ASD, and other psychiatric problems can be blown out of proportion due to improper sleeping patterns.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 26, 2022

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