How Mood Affects Your Sleep
We all know that the quality of the sleep we get affects our mood and state of mind to a great extent. Often, after a night of interrupted or restless sleep, you’ll feel more stressed, irritated and short-tempered. The longer you experience poor sleep, the longer these feelings linger. Once you are able to get some deep, restful sleep, your mood goes back to normal.
You might be surprised to hear that the number of hours you sleep also has a significant effect on your mood. Several studies show that individuals who sleep less than five hours per night reported feeling stressed, sad, mentally exhausted, and angry.
There is no doubt that the quality and amount of sleep you get affects your mood, but does your mood affect your sleep?
Does your mood affect your sleep?
Most people find that when they are emotionally upset, they have difficulty falling asleep. There is a complex relationship between mood and sleep. Each affects the other equally. In the same way that your sleep affects your mood, your mood and mental state affect the quality of your sleep.
Anxiety increases agitation and wakefulness, which makes it difficult to get to sleep. Sleep quality is also affected by stress, which makes your body and mind awake and alert. People who are under constant stress tend to have ongoing sleep problems.
“You’re putting energy in the bank when you go to sleep. On a cellular level, the body is literally repairing and restoring itself. Without it, you can’t do what you want -- physically or mentally,” says Barry Krakow, MD, medical director of Maimonides Sleep Arts and Sciences, Ltd. in Albuquerque, N.M.
The science behind your mood
Mood changes are caused by chemicals called neurotransmitters that are present in the brain. These neurotransmitters are responsible for carrying messages between brain cells. That communication is what enables you to function mentally, physically and emotionally.
Certain neurotransmitters play a very important role in sleep regulation. Moods are caused by elevated levels of different chemicals in the brain. Some of these chemicals can interfere with your ability to get restful sleep.
A bad mood is not the only emotional state that affects your sleep. You might be surprised to hear that extreme happiness and excitement can also prevent you from enjoying a good night’s rest.
How different moods affect your sleep
Everyone in the world experiences stress. It can be caused by the pressures of work or school, conflict in relationships, and many other things. You may have noticed that you spend the entire night tossing and turning when you’re stressed out.
When you’re stressed, your body produces a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is the chemical that’s most commonly associated with the body’s “fight or flight” response. It increases your heart rate and blood pressure, which makes it difficult for your body to relax. This accounts for the state of sleeplessness.
Whenever you have a stressful day, try doing some activities like reading, listening to music, painting or drawing, as these activities will help reduce your stress level. Also, if you are unable to sleep due to stress, try drinking some valerian tea an hour before bed. This can reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality
Depression is a mood disorder that affects a lot of people. It is a common cause of sleep issues. People who suffer from depression constantly feel tired and often experience insomnia.
Many people think that depression is simply feeling sad or low all the time, but it is more complicated than that. Depression can be caused by a chemical imbalance that affects the way a person feels, reacts, talks and thinks.
People with depression tend to have decreased levels of serotonin in their brains. Serotonin is the chemical most often associated with feelings of happiness, satisfaction and security. A lack of serotonin can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. That’s the main reason people with depression suffer from insomnia.
Serotonin is synthesized by the pineal gland into melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that is directly related to a healthy sleep cycle. Without melatonin, our bodies find it difficult to differentiate night from day, which disrupts the sleep cycle.
Treatments for depression are different for different people. You can increase your melatonin levels before bed, however, by having a supper of porridge with banana, Morello cherries, and ginger, which are all high in melatonin. You can also take a vitamin b12 supplement. Some people consume enough B-12x
Going to bed when you’re excited or in a very happy state of mind might not be good for your quality of sleep. Feeling happy is good, but overexcitement can cause your brain to work harder than necessary. When your brain is working overtime, your body won’t feel relaxed and ready for bed.
When you are in a state of extreme happiness or excitement, your brain produces chemicals known as orexins. These chemicals suppress sleep and promote wakefulness, which is not ideal at bedtime.
Happiness is healthy, and you should embrace it, but you should try to calm yourself before you go to bed. Try some sleep relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, writing or reading to get your mind and body ready to doze off.
Your sleep quality and mood are both very important for your overall health and well-being. You should always make sure that you get deep, peaceful sleep for an adequate amount of time. Don’t go to bed after you’ve had a fight or argument with someone or when your emotions are running high. Negative thoughts and memories can prevent you from sleeping properly, or in the worst case, might result in nightmares.
Always try to keep your stress level down by performing stress-relieving activities and staying away from negative people. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. This will help you stay happy and have a positive mood.
Stay happy, sleep well, and stay healthy!