Sleep: Another problem for mental health sufferers

Mental health issues come with a wide array of issues that aren’t exactly in the job description. Issues with your job, relationships, and overall wellness can arise. Sleep is also one of them.

We all need sleep. Most of the time we are advised to get between 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Many people complain that they do not get enough sleep, and this often causes other health issues. Some people even sleep too much or require more sleep because of these issues.

In mental health, your issues can also be a side effect of your medication.

You might have issues falling asleep. Bipolar disorder, for instance, is known for its manic phases and the sufferer often sleeps less during this time. Some people suffer from full-blown insomnia, where they just can’t fall asleep. With any of these, stress levels often get high and the mind has trouble shutting down. Sleep aids are often prescribed to aid in these problems.

You might have issues waking up. One of the most debilitating experiences of my depression is the inability to get out of bed. Something about the mental roller coasters your mind plays through when you have a mental illness can cause you to need more sleep than others. This can be difficult when you’re trying to be “normal” and sleep 8 hours, and work a 9 to 5 job. Even if you go to bed early, it can still feel like it’s just not enough.

You might have issues staying awake. I took a lot of naps when I was on a high dose of Xanax. It was relieving when I was finally able to come off of it, and I realized what was keeping me from staying awake. It’s not just medications that can do that to you, though. Naps are something many sufferers take because of sheer exhaustion and fatigue.

These are the basic issues of sleep problems, but they can come in all shapes and sizes. For someone with a mental illness, it can be very hard to find a solid sleep routine. And even when you do, you might still find yourself fatigued. It’s not a perfect system. And, again, it could be largely affected by what medication you are on.

It’s important to try and work with your healthcare professionals when you have serious issues that are affecting your life.



Jessica is a writer, blogger and teacher. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Southern Illinois University and manages the blog The Science of Genesis. She enjoys a good cup of coffee, a good book or movie, and good conversation. Still battling her own mental illness, she spends much of her time learning how to help herself and others. Jessica has an eating disorder, borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder. She has also experienced trauma, including domestic violence. She seeks to live a happy, healthy life through treatment and striving every day.

You can follow Jessica on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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