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Sleep and mental health.

Do you remember the last time you got enough sleep? If you’re looking for a name to blame, it’s sleep deprivation.

Aside from the physical effects of sleep deprivation like bodily fatigue and hand tremors, the mental effects can be just as debilitating. You may feel frequent changes in your mood, experience heightened feelings of depression and anxiety, and have difficulty controlling your emotions. But don’t shut your eyes just yet – you’ll want to see the benefits of getting enough sleep, first.


Better Mood

Irritation and aggravation often follow a night of poor sleep. These negative feelings are caused by two areas of the brain: the amygdala, which controls our emotional responses, and the prefrontal cortex, which helps to control emotional impulses. Without enough sleep, these two areas can’t function properly, resulting in feelings of anger or impulsiveness. Enough sleep allows these two areas to perform better, helping to stabilize your mood for the day.

Increased Focus

If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter or cut your sleep down to an only hour or two, it might be harder for you to focus the next day. Sleep deprivation impacts the production of neurotransmitters and makes it difficult for the cells in the brain to communicate with each other. UCLA researchers found that these cells “responded slowly, fired more weakly, and their transmissions dragged on longer than usual” in individuals who weren’t getting their recommended six to eight hours. It’s with restful sleep that we can not only maintain but even boost productivity, memory, and focus, allowing the brain and the body to perform their necessary actions to prepare us for the next day.

Improved Memory

Through research on the impact of sleep, scientists found that sleep improves memory retention and recall by 20 to 40 percent. But it’s not just remembering recent information; scientists hypothesize that sleep helps formation of long-term memories by using slow brain waves to move memories to more permanent locations in the brain.


So, once you’ve established a good sleep schedule and created a morning routine, you should be ready to face a new day with your good mood, increased focus, and improved memory. If you’re struggling with sleep deprivation, or living with sleep-related conditions like insomnia, consider reaching out to your primary doctor. You can also think about finding a related clinical trial today.