Do your loved ones frequently tell you that you are in a bad mood? Even though it may hurt your feelings, do you realize it is a fact? Many people may wonder why they feel irritable and in a grouchy mood throughout the day. Usually this leads to cups of coffee and blaming it on stress or other factors. But did you know your bad mood can be related to the quantity and quality of sleep you experience? Studies have shown that there is a link between sleep and mood.
The Link Between Sleep and Mood
University of Pennsylvania researchers conducted a study on several subjects and discovered that people who are sleep deprived and only have about four hours of sleep per night are increasingly sad, angry and stressed. Once the subjects returned to sleeping at least 7 hours per night or more, their mood improved and the negative feelings of sadness, anger and anxiety disappeared.
While stress and anxiety from living in today’s busy world is a common cause for restless nights and insomnia, there are physical symptoms that may affect your quality and quantity of sleep as well. Prescription medications may have side effects that interfere with sleep. In addition, there are sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy that can also affect your ability to have a good night sleep. Symptoms that a sleep disorder might be present include, deep snoring, holding your breath during sleep, waking up out of your sleep gasping for air, choking or frequent sore throats. If you experience any of these symptoms it is recommended that you see your physician.
How to Improve Your Quality of Sleep
These tips relate to those who suffer from acute to mild insomnia and it can help those who have serious sleep disorders as well.
- Create a comfortable, serene environment to sleep in – Your mattress should provide stability as well as comfort. The décor in your bedroom should be in colors such as beige, tan, ivory, taupe and brown. Green plants either fake or real will help provide color therapy and encourage relaxation. Aroma therapy with scents such as vanilla and lavender will help calm your senses.
- Avoid Caffeine Before Bed – Your body can feel the effects from your morning coffee up to 12 hours afterwards. Imagine the effects you will feel when you drink a cup of coffee right before bed.
- Establish a Sleep Schedule – Go to sleep at the same time every night. This will set your body clock and soon you will naturally feel the need to sleep at that time every night. In addition it will cause you to wake up every morning at the same time. Eventually you won’t need to wake up to your alarm clock.
- Eat Two Hours Prior – Eating a snack or meal right before you go to bed can cause symptoms such as snoring, heartburn and acid reflux. These symptoms cause discomfort and provoke you to wake up during the night.
Insomnia and Your Mood
According to Dr. Lawrence Epstein, Medical Director of Sleep Health Centers, people who have anxiety and are depressed frequently have trouble with sleep. Those who suffer from depression and anxiety will usually experience difficulty sleeping and may suffer from insomnia on a regular basis. On the other hand, people who experience chronic insomnia have an increased risk of developing anxiety and depression. As you can see the lack of sleep in insomnia sufferers is linked to the development of mood disorders. This is actually good news for many of those who suffer from mood disorders, because improved quantity and quality of sleep can help relieve depression and sadness.
If you suffer from depression or anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, it is wise that you visit your doctor to determine the cause. During your consultation with your doctor you will want to discuss your sleep habits to see if it is attributing to your mood disorder. One of the best ways to provide your doctor with your sleep habit information is to keep a sleep journal for about two weeks. Precisely note your sleep habits before bed, your before bed routine, the time you go to bed and wake up, physical symptoms such as snoring and gasping for air, plus the amount of times you wake up during the night. Provide this journal to your doctor and discuss ways to improve your sleep habits. Everyone deserves a good night sleep, make it happen for you today and improve your mood too.