Insomnia has also been linked as a symptom to several mental illnesses. According to the several published studies, more than 50% of the insomnia cases are linked to anxiety, depression, or other psychological stresses. For example, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder are both associated with difficulty falling asleep.
The relationship between sleep and depression is complex. Recent research has indicated that depressive symptoms may decrease once insomnia has been effectively treated and sufficient sleep restored.
Lack of sleep can increase the risk for anxiety disorders as well as worsen preexisting anxiety symptoms. Comparatively, anxiety can also contribute to disturbed sleep. People who have higher levels of anxiety may have trouble falling and and staying asleep due to excessive worrying.
Insomnia can contribute to increasing stress levels as decreases in sleep can affect mood making individuals more irritable, short-tempered and easily frustrated. Comparatively, increases in stress levels can also cause sleep problems by causing the body to function in a state of hyperarousal, impacting the ease to fall asleep and stay asleep.
While sleep problems are common in patient’s who have Alzheimer’s, there is also evidence that sleep problems may also be an indicator of early disease. One study done including 145 volunteers of 45 to 75 years of age found that participants with lower sleep efficiency ( a measure of how much time in bed is spent asleep) showed that those with a sleep efficiency lower than 75 percent were five times more likely to have preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.
- Insomnia. National Sleep Foundation.
- Ju Y-ES. Sleep Quality and Preclinical Alzheimer Disease. JAMA Neurology.
- Harvard Publishing. Sleep and mental health.
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SPEAK TO YOUR DOCTOR IF INSOMNIA MAY INTERFERE WITH YOUR LIFE.