You probably heard of Wacky Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, and Flashback Friday. But have you ever heard of Mental Health Monday? If you haven’t, now is as good a time as any to familiarize yourself with this health initiative. We all know how important our physical health is. We know that there is an ideal weight for our age and height, and we should do our best to achieve and maintain this weight. We also are aware that we need to pay close attention to how our heart and other vital organs perform. But when it comes to our mental health, are we equally versed in the importance?
There seems to be compelling evidence that there is a correlation between sleep and mental health. Did you know that of people who reach out for medical help to assist with sleeping problems, approximately 40% of them can be diagnosed with a psychiatric condition? This may be because issues with sleep are not only a symptom of some mental disorders but not sleeping well can also be the cause of some such disorders.
Often when people suffer through a condition which impedes their sleep, such as sleep apnea, the resulting lack of sleep can ultimately lead to depression. Those who experience insomnia, whether acute or chronic, also are prone to feelings of desolation. These are examples of depression being a symptom of another problem.
In the reverse, one example of an illness or condition causing sleep problems is clinical depression. There are a slew of reasons that someone might be affected by clinical depression, one of them being genetic factors. If one suffers from clinical depression, they might find one of their symptoms to be that they are unable to obtain adequate sleep.
As today is Mental Health Monday, it’s important to take stock of our physical AND mental well-being. We need to scrutinize our sleep. If we aren’t sleeping as well as we would like or think we should, it might be time to talk to a medical professional. If we believe that our mental health is impaired, this is also a sign that it’s time to reach out to our doctor. Together with professional advice, we can all be on the road...or should we say on the bed...back to better sleep.