Sleep is an essential component of overall good physical health. Most psychiatrists today agree that getting enough proper sleep really matters to your mental health and emotional well-being as well. Mental health experts, including those that offer Raleigh psychotherapy, recommend that every psychiatric client be evaluated for sleep problems as part of the usual psychiatric assessment.
It is not unusual for mental health clients to report sleep-related issues. In fact, some researchers have found that up to 80% of these clients will present or develop sleep problems during the course of their ongoing psychotherapy treatment.
The Connection Between Sleep Problems & Mental Health.
Research has shown a clear link between sleep problems and a decline of the client’s mental health or emotional status. What researchers can’t say for certain is whether sleep disorders cause mental illnesses, or do mentally ill clients develop sleep issues due to their mental health status?
This is rather similar to the age-old lament of “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” However, what is crystal clear, to those in the mental health field, is that lack of sleep or too much sleep can both precipitate a decline in mental health status that needs addressed.
Common Symptoms that Might Indicate Sleep Disturbances.
Everyone has different sleep needs, and these will change with time and circumstances. Some common complaints to watch for include greater irritability, daytime sleepiness, mental confusion, jittery feelings, shaking, emotional swings or numb feelings, increased sensitivity to light or sounds and increased body discomfort.
Also, it is wise to get witness collaboration, as spouses or others in the household might notice sleep deprived behavior, sleep walking or talking and other symptoms that may not be known by the client.
Psychiatry Medication Management is Key for Better Sleep.
A Raleigh, North Carolina psychiatrist will initiate a psychiatric medication management treatment plan to help diagnose the sleep disturbance cause. Reputable psychiatrists know that many psychiatric medications can impact sleep.
Not only that, but many other common drugs used to treat medical conditions, like diabetes, thyroid disorder or asthma, are known to increase anxiety and/or disrupt a person’s normal sleep schedule. All drugs, including over-the-counter ones. These should always be relayed to your psychiatrist, pharmacist and other medical specialists. This helps to prevent drug interactions and can improve nighttime rest periods.
What if Psychiatric Medications Are Keeping You Up?
Many clients dislike the tiredness that some psychiatric medications can bring on. It is not unusual to notice daytime sleepiness or nighttime restlessness as a result from a new medication or an adverse medication combination reaction.
Never stop the medications without the approval of the prescribing psychiatrist. Often, these sleep issues will resolve over the first few weeks as your body gets to the different medication levels. Do, however, report these sleep concerns to your Raleigh psychiatrist office promptly. Sometimes, a medication or dosage adjustment is indicated.
Reasons to Avoid Most Sleep Aid Medicines.
There are times when a doctor will prescribe medication that helps someone experiencing insomnia get better and deeper sleep. This kind of medication is only to be short-term if at all. Many of these drugs pose some dangerous side effects like sleepwalking, night terrors, and other issues. Some have even cooked food, ran around the block, or got into their cars while still asleep. Always report any of these unusual symptoms, and consider trying natural sleep remedies instead.
Ways to Naturally Promote Better Sleep.
There are many ways to promote natural methods of falling asleep and staying asleep so the body can recharge. Don’t eat a heavy meal at dinnertime, as full meals often result in nighttime heartburn or other adverse symptoms. Make sure to get outside for some regular exercise.
Fresh air and safe amounts of sun exposure help to promote endorphins in the bloodstream that can relieve pain, lessen anxiety and promote better nighttime sleep.
Try natural sleep remedies like a cup of hot chamomile tea before bed. Dim bedroom lights, paint the walls a soothing color, install light blocking blinds or invest in a better mattress. Take time to wind down a few hours before bedtime. Keep distractions limited by keeping phones, laptops and other electronics out of the bedroom.
Get Treatment for Sleep Apnea or Other Health Issues.
If others in the household notice that you snore loudly at night, it is smart to be for sleep apnea. Treating the underlying causes of sleep disturbances can often resolve the problem. There are innovative dental appliances and CPAP machines that are smaller and more comfortable these days.