the effects of sleep on mental health

How Sleep Affects Mental Health

Did you know that the average person spends about 1/3rd of their life in bed? You would think that means we’d know everything that there is to know about sleep and how it affects our overall health. Even though we’ve been studying sleep for centuries, unfortunately, we don’t have all the answers yet. However, we do have a lot of facts about the effects of sleep on mental health. Here’s what you need to know about how sleep directly impacts mental health.

The Correlation Between Sleep and Mental Health

Sleep and mental health are closely correlated. Even if there wasn’t underlying neurochemistry to prove it, the numbers don’t lie. The overwhelming majority—50% to 80%!—of people suffering from depression or anxiety also report that they are having consistent issues with sleeping well. 

The Effects are Being Studied

The relationship between sleep and mental health is being studied right now. While scientists used to believe that poor mental health caused insomnia or other sleep disorders, current research is turning that on its head. It’s now believed that having poor sleep habits might act as a trigger for certain mental disorders.


There’s a very strong relationship between insomnia and depression. In particular, it was recently found that people with insomnia were approximately four times as likely when compared to their soundly sleeping peers to develop symptoms of depression.

Other Disorders and Sleep

Physical disorders such as sleep apnea lead to rougher nights, but so do mental disorders: people suffering from ADHD often experience perverse sleep cycles—being wide awake when it’s time to rest, and being very sleepy during the day. 

Hope for a Cure 

Interestingly, because of the directional way scientists now believe sleep and mental health issues are connected, there are those who believe that emphasizing practical measures to improve health hygiene may remove certain triggers for mental health conditions! If that’s the case, we could be looking at a new process of mental health treatment for some of those who are suffering — it’s a major finding! 

Prioritizing Sleep to Avoid a Health Crisis

Regardless of current research, it is a fact that the vast majority of American adults do not get as much sleep as has been deemed necessary for optimal health. Capture a few more zzz’s in the future to potentially help safeguard your mind against symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other manifestations of poor mental health!

Next Steps

What’s clear, is that getting enough quality sleep has a positive effect on your mental health. That said, there are certain things you can do to help improve the quality of sleep you are getting. For starters, a new mattress can do wonders for you. At Watertown Mattress, we carry some of the most popular brands including Therapedic, Simmons, Dream Well and beyond to help you sleep better. Our mattress experts can help you find just the right mattress for your sleep type.  Stop by our store in Watertown to see for yourself how these comfortable mattresses can make all the difference!