Whether you are someone who struggles with anxiety or someone looking to improve your overall mental health, one of the best things you can do for yourself is get a good night’s sleep. While adequate sleep is undoubtedly essential for physical health, it is also critical for mental health. In fact, sleep plays a vital role in reducing stress, improving mood, and avoiding panic attack (napadaj panike). In this post, I will discuss the benefits of quality sleep in detail, and explain how you can improve your sleep hygiene to enjoy these benefits to the fullest.
Sleep Quality vs. Quantity
Before delving into the benefits of quality sleep, it is essential to understand the difference between sleep quality and sleep quantity. While many people equate good sleep with the number of hours slept, sleep quality is equally, if not more important. Quality sleep is marked by the absence of interruptions, the depth of sleep, and the number of cycles completed. With this understanding, let us dive into how quality sleep helps reduce stress, improve mood, and avoid panic attacks.
One of the most significant benefits of quality sleep is stress reduction. Inadequate sleep can lead to short-term stress, which can quickly lead to chronic stress, triggering the adrenal glands’ fight-or-flight response in the body. With quality sleep, the body produces cortisol, the stress hormone, at lower levels, helping you feel calmer and more relaxed. A good night’s sleep also provides you with the mental space needed to handle stressful situations that may arise during the day better.
Multiple studies have linked poor sleep quality to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Research has shown that when the body is well-rested, it is better equipped to regulate mood, emotions, and serotonin levels in the brain. When you fail to get enough sleep, the limbic system (the one responsible for regulating mood) gets overstimulated, leading to a heightened sense of anxiety and often culminating in panic attacks.
Avoiding Panic Attacks
Lastly, people who have had a panic attack know how debilitating the experience can be. While there are several triggers, stress and sleep disturbance are among the most common. As we have seen, quality sleep reduces stress, and stress reduction is a significant factor in preventing panic attacks. Besides, poor sleep can lead to hyperventilation and panic-like symptoms, even in the absence of a full-blown panic attack
Improving Sleep Hygiene
Assuming the importance of quality sleep, the next step is to improve your sleep hygiene. Several things can impact the quality of your sleep, including when and what you eat, light exposure, and your sleep routine. Here are a few tips to improve sleep hygiene;
1. Stick to a Sleep Schedule
2. Create a Sleep-Conducive Environment
3. Stay Away From Stimulants
4. Relax Before Going to Bed
5. Increase Exposure to Sunlight
Quality sleep is critical for our physical and mental health. Getting good rest reduces stress, improves mood, and allows us to avoid panic attacks. To enjoy these benefits, we must improve our sleep hygiene by creating a conducive sleep environment, following a sleep schedule, and relaxing before bed. So, next time you aim to reduce stress or improve your overall health, remember that a night of quality sleep may be just what you need.