Xmas is a time when our usual sleep times and routines go right out the window. We all tend to go to bed later and enjoy the luxury of lying-in bed later. The problem with this is that it upsets your natural rhythm and that can be difficult to reset.
If you’re experiencing stress in your life, chances are that you may be struggling to fall or stay asleep at night? If you’re doing some anxious worrying about life and its problems, this may keep your brain from settling down, and the disruption of sleep is likely to keep you feeling more on edge the next day.
Sleep disruption is a common feature of mental health problems, and anxiety, stress and depression are no exception. You don’t have to have a diagnosed problem to feel the impact that stress and worry can have on your sleep patterns. 70% of adults report that they experience daily stressors, so it makes sense that people on average are reporting they get less sleep than in previous decades.
Which Comes First?
So, which comes first, anxiety, depression and worry, or the disruption of sleep? Researchers have found that the relationship between sleep problems and anxiety is bidirectional. This means that sleep problems can cause stress, and stress can disrupt your sleep. And just like stress, sleep problems can impact how you function emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Because sleep and stress have such a strong relationship, it’s important to address both when you work towards feeling better. In addition to mental health concerns, sleep problems can put you at higher risk for missing work, injuring yourself, and developing health conditions such as heart attack, hypertension, stroke, and diabetes, among others.
Sleep is always part of the mix
If you’re being treated for insomnia, it’s essential to express any concerns you have about how stress affects your day-to-day life. Treating sleep problems without taking steps to manage anxiety, depression and reduce stress is unlikely to have any real impact.
Mental health professionals can provide you with sleep education and help you design an action plan for sleeping through the night. I always check with clients about sleep problems as it’s easily overlooked. To treat anxiety, stress and depression conjointly with sleep problems, I typically recommend ways to improve your sleep before using medication as a last resort.
As an ex-athlete I’ve always advocated the benefits of keeping in shape physically, but it’s just as important to look after your mental wellbeing. Book a session with Wendy, she’s the person to help you look after your brain just as you would your body.
5 x Olympic Skier and presenter of BBC Ski Sunday.
Dare to dream big and Wendy’s THE person to help get you there.
X Factor winner with a long list of sell out tour successes under her belt.
The most exciting thing in the world is getting a chance to tear it all up and start again. Keep all the things you want and throw out everything you don’t. Wendy will help you do just that!
Beauty, lifestyle and fashion blogging sensation Becky Sheeran (TalkBeckyTalk)
It’s great to have a leading psychotherapist such as Wendy in the Cheshire area, outside of her Harley Street practice. After publicly raising awareness of mental health issues and myself recovering from depression, I know how immensely life-changing expert intervention can be.
Retired ex-professional football who played for Bury, Wigan, Stoke, Preston, Norwich, Leicester and Brighton during a 14 year career. After leaving professional football, Jason battled depression and recovered with the help of therapy and family support.