Psychiatric Patients Suffer More From Sleeping Disorders
According to psychiatric experts, the recommended amount of sleep for adults each day is 7-9 hours. However, given long working hours and the increase in societal stress and burdens, almost 70% of Americans admit that they have some sleep problems. Our previous blog on sleep deprivation explains how the brain is affected by sleeping problems, and, as a result, we experience lethargy, slow reaction, mood swing or hallucination. However, while only 10% to 18% of adults have some sleeping problems, 50% to 80% of psychiatric patients suffer from chronic sleeping disorders and associated critical mental problems. Recent studies have indicated a mutual relationship between sleeping disorders and mental illnesses.
Types of Mental Illnesses and Associated Sleeping Disorders
Depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and ADHD are the most common types of mental illness in the U.S. These psychiatric illnesses often create different types of sleeping problems, and at the same time, sleep disorders also exacerbate the symptoms of these mental illnesses.
Depression is the most common mood disorder in the U.S., characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness or lack of energy. People with depression often suffer from insomnia – sleeping too little, and hypersomnia – sleeping too much. They either wake up repeatedly during the night because of anxiety or emptiness or find sleeping as a way to escape negative thoughts and loss of joy. Repeated insomnia or hypersomnia also worsen depression’s symptoms. Anxiety disorder is associated with feelings of panic, fear and uneasiness as well as an inability to be still and calm. Insomnia is frequently found in people with anxiety disorder – they often find themselves awake at night due to fear, worry, obsessive thoughts and nightmares. Another type of sleeping disorders linked with anxiety is REM behavior disorder, including sleep talking, shouting, screaming or even panic attacks and sleep paralysis.
Anxiety disorder is associated with feelings of panic, fear and uneasiness as well as an inability to be still and calm. Insomnia is frequently found in people with anxiety disorder – they often find themselves awake at night due to fear, worry, obsessive thoughts and nightmares. Another type of sleeping disorders linked with anxiety is REM behavior disorder, including sleep talking, shouting, screaming or even panic attacks and sleep paralysis.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by dramatic shifts in mood from mania to depression. Because of that, bipolar patients suffer from sleep disorders differently at each end of the spectrum. While in a depressive mood, they are likely to have hypersomnia, while in a manic phase they feel less need for sleep or insomnia. Dramatic mood swings from high to low, along with an associated switch between insomnia and hypersomnia, have a great impact on both the physical and mental well-being of a person.
ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is related to various hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive behaviors. This illness is often found in children, yet associated sleep disorders usually occur in teens and adults (read more about ADHD in adulthood). Patients can experience restless leg syndrome; throbbing, pulling, or other unpleasant sensations in the legs; or bedwetting in the earlier years. They can also suffer from sleep apnea (instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep), REM behavior disorders, or insomnia later on.
Treating Mental Illnesses and Sleeping Disorders
If you are having problems with a sleeping disorder and you also some symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or ADHD, then immediate medical treatment and therapy are necessary to avoid worsening symptoms of both mental illnesses and sleeping disorders. Since medical treatment and therapy vary depending on the type of mental illness and associated sleep disorders involved, you should contact our professional psychiatrists at The Holiner Psychiatric Group to start your home sleep study and receive suitable mental illness treatment.