Sleep problems or insomnia can lead to feelings of irritability, lack of energy and poor concentration. It is not the total length of sleep that matters but the quality of deep sleep and dream sleep (rapid eye movement REM sleep) that is important. Most deep sleep occurs during the first four or five hours of the night. Even if you only sleep for four or five hours, you will still get about the same amount of deep sleep as someone who sleeps for eight hours.
Poor Sleep and Depression
Depression disturbs our sleep and disrupts the body clock leading to a range of sleep problems. It usually leads to difficulty getting to sleep, poor quality sleep and waking frequently at night. In severe cases it can lead to waking very early in the morning and being unable to get back to sleep. Sleep problems can contribute to daytime fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, reduced immune function and prolonged depression.
Your psychologist at Barrenjoey Psychology on the northern beaches will need some information about your sleep habits. Keeping a diary if your usual sleep habits can be helpful in the week before your initial appointment. This diary should include information about the time you go to bed and to sleep and waking during the night and morning. A good sleep pattern needs to be planned and monitored and the psychologist has sound clinical experience at improving people’s sleep patterns. For example if you go outside in the sunlight and do some physical activity. This exercise such as walking is best done in the early morning or late afternoon but not in the evening.
Sleep and physical and mental wellbeing
Better sleep has a huge impact on our mood and irritability and sometimes this may be all that is required as a focus for treatment. Our well being is improved by good sleep with a better immune function and capacity to deal with stressful events in our lives.
If you are in crisis or require urgent care please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or call 000 for an ambulance.