You know a lousy night's sleep will impact your mood and energy during the day, but do you know sleep's role in your mental health?
How you sleep affects your mental health, but probably not in the way you think. We've all had those days where we're a little off, a little cranky, a little anxious, and we might blame it on a poor night's sleep.
But it's not just being tired that's impacting your mind.
There is something else going on that most people don't consider...
You see, if you wanted a surefire way to cause your brain to panic, all you'd have to do is one simple thing:
Deny your body from taking another breath.
Many people may question, even on the heels of Mental Health Awareness Month, why ADVENT, an ENT clinic that specializes in snoring, sleep apnea and sinus issues, has so much to say about mental health.
It's not widely taught or even talked about, but when you think about it, it's quite obvious how sleep and mental health are related.
When someone who suffers from sleep apnea lays down at night, there's much more going on than just snoring. Their airway is collapsing and they're essentially being strangled by their own body.
There's few experiences more disturbing than struggling to find your next breath because of your compromised breathing. And when you experience this every night, your brain cannot decipher the terror it is experiencing between your airway failing versus someone literally wrapping their hands around your throat and squeezing...
Sometimes over one hundred times an hour.
More than 40 million American adults are affected with anxiety disorders, 33% of Americans experience extreme stress on a regular basis.
Just imagine the latter. Your heart rate likely spikes, your body is stressed, and a feeling of panic overwhelms you.
Your brain is going to be in a constant state of anxious awareness because night after night it is being threatened and has to fight to survive. Your brain is thinking, "I have to be on guard at all times to stay alive." This is where patients begin to experience disorders like panic attacks, general anxiety, and clinical depression.
Sleep and breath are two critical elements of our health and well-being. Unfortunately, they are often disregarded and given little attention because 'diet and exercise' overtake the focus (and the majority of the market.)
Yet, when sleep and breath are compromised, the impacts can be devastating.
While broken airways aren't usually the primary cause of mental health issues, it's important to address their potential influence on our mental state.
And because these neural pathways are being formed based on patterns and habits alone, even with patients who have been treated and are breathing right, the brain will likely have a harder time going back to "the way things used to be."
More than 40 million American adults are affected with anxiety disorders, and 33% of Americans experience extreme stress on a regular basis. You have enough going on in your life to cause feelings of angst, don't let your sleep be one more thing to contribute to your anxiety and depression.