Lack of sleep is leading to mental health problems


Friday 20th February, 2009

Scientists are stating that sleeping disorders increase the risk of suffering mental health problems such as depression, ADD and stress.

Previous assumptions were that poor sleep was a symptom of mental health problems rather than the cause. For example, an adult suffering depression was five times more likely to have breathing difficulties while asleep.

The latest research by US doctors now suggests that sleeping problems can predispose people to suffering mental disorders.

In one study, patients with breathing sleep disorders were categorised into four to indicate their symptoms (mild to severe). The risk of depression was found to double between each stage of sleep disorder severity.

In another study, treating the sleep disorders of depressed patients using benzodiazepine drugs produced a significant positive change in their mood disorder. Other evidence suggest poor sleep induces manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder.

A study involving adults with breathing problems during sleep (known as sleep apnoea) discovered that nearly half of the 34 studied had moderate to severe attention impairment. Treatment for the sleep apnoea improved attention for 60% of those affected.

Conventional treatments for sleep disorders often involve drug use and there is always a risk of dependency. There are a number of natural cures for sleep problems that have proved effective and long-lasting.

Learn more about sleep problems and the therapies that can help here

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