The_Tie_That_Binds_Sleep_And_Sanity by andissswin

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									Title:
The Tie That Binds Sleep And Sanity

Word Count:
660

Summary:
This article is about the relationship between sleeping problems and
mental illnesses. It briefly discusses the different stages of sleep, its
function, and characteristics. There are two general kinds of sleeping
disorders connected to psychiatric conditions, these are insomnia and
hypersomnia. The most commonly related psychiatric illnesses connected to
sleeping problems are: general anxiety disorder, depression, adjustment
disorder, and panic attacks.


Keywords:
generalized anxiety disorder


Article Body:
What is sleep?
All living things require sleep. It is the natural state of rest
observed not only by human beings but also by other species of the animal
kingdom. An adequate amount of sleep is important for one’s health and
survival. It is during sleep that the body is recharged for another day
of work.

Sleep has five stages. The first four stages are part of the non-rapid
eye movement (non-REM) phase of sleep. The last stage is the rapid eye
movement (REM) sleep. Stage one is the transition period from wake to
sleep. Stage two is the intermediate level of sleep. Stages three and
four are referred to as deep or slow wave sleep, with stage four as the
deepest phase of sleep. The fifth stage of sleep, the REM stage, is the
part of sleep where people have dreams. The term rapid eye movement was
coined from the fast movement of the eyes during this phase of sleep.

Studies have been done to find a link between sleep and certain
psychological conditions. It was found out that there are two sleeping
difficulties that are related to psychiatric conditions. These are:
·     Insomnia. A sufferer with this sleeping condition has difficulty
falling or remaining asleep. Insomniacs usually complain that sleep is
never restful for them. This condition can be classified as acute or
short-term, or chronic, wherein the condition lasts for over a month).
·     Hypersomnia. A patient who has this condition feels extremely
sleepy throughout the day. Hypersomniacs usually sleep long during the
night and still take multiple naps throughout the day. Even though
patients sleep long, they are still complain that they are not refreshed.

What are the different psychological disorders related to sleeping
problems?
As was mentioned above, sleeping disorders have been linked certain
mental disorders. Here are some psychiatric conditions that are commonly
related to having sleeping disorders.
·     Generalized anxiety disorder. A patient with this condition
displays frequent patterns of worrying about things. Patients find it
difficult to sleep because of the thoughts that swin inside their minds.
·     Panic disorder. A patient often experiences extreme fear and
anxiety over something unexplainable. Sufferers of this condition usually
wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty going back to
sleep.
·     Adjustment disorders. This is a condition wherein a person
overreacts to any form of stress in their life. Patients with this
disorder often complain of having insomnia.
·     Bipolar disorder. In this mental disorder, a sufferer feels periods
of mania and depression alternately. Patients with this conditions are
most often diagnosed with hypersomnia.


How are mental disorders linked to sleeping dysfunctions?
People who suffer from sleeping disorders sometimes show symptoms of
their mental illness or that of the sleeping disorder itself. Here are
some of the most noted signs:
·     Feelings of anxiety increase at bedtime.
·     Feels an inclination to staying in bed more often.
·     Fatigue or complete lack of energy.
·     Having a difficult time concentrating.
·     A tendency to fall asleep when in low-stimulation situations.
·     Feels disoriented when awakened.
·     Decreased appetite.
·     Gets easily irritated.
·     Memory impairment.

Recent studies have shown that brain movement noted with mental illnesses
have been observed in healthy people who’ve been deprived of a night's
worth of sleep. An increase in activity in the brain’s emotion center,
the amygdala, was seen in patients who’ve been asked to miss a night’s
rest. The same study noted that sleep deprivation affected the way the
prefrontal cortex, which damps down the amygdala, reacts. The same
disruption of prefrontal cortex function has been noted i n patients with
certain psychiatric disorders.

Sleep is not just a regular function that we need to engage in to rest
our body. It doesn't only help our body recharge and heal, our mind’s
health depends on it too. Your busy schedule and lifestyle may te ll you
that sleep is for the weak. But think of how much weaker a lack of sleep
may turn you into.

								
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