Poor quality sleep results in the deterioration of mental disorders, but there is no indication that sleep is solely responsible for mental health disorders, or that better sleep quality would totally eradicate mental health disorders.
Nonetheless, better quality sleep contributes to an improvement in mental disorders. Also, when combined with other interventions such as medication and behavioral interventions, better quality sleep results in a better outcome (National Sleep Foundation, 2014). With this in mind, the solutions provided below consider the role of better sleep in improving and reducing the likelihood of getting mental disorders.
Use of Medication to improve Sleep Quality
Medication is one of the interventions that could be applied to improve poor quality sleep. According to Neikrug and Ancoli-Israel (2010), there are various drugs that could be described in the treatment of sleep disorders. Benzodiazepine medications are prescribed to lower Rapid Eye Movements (REM), therefore, enabling a person to get good quality sleep. Other drugs such as Temazepam, Zolpidem, and Estazolam could also be used to induce sleep.
Use of Medication
The use of medication is recommended due to the ease and convenience of its administration. It is important to address poor quality sleep due to its negative implications on an individual’s mental health. A large number of the US population is impacted by sleep disorders, and it is important to find an easy and convenient way of encouraging better quality sleep.
The effectiveness of medication in improving sleep quality was assessed by Ferracioli-Oda, Qawasmi, and Bloch (2013). The researchers intended on uncovering the effectiveness of the medication Melatonin in the treatment of patients with sleep disorders. The meta-analysis involved 1683 participants, who comprised of both adults and children.
The three outcomes that were examined include sleep latency, total sleep time, and sleep quality. The results of the study concluded that Melatonin increases total sleep time and sleep quality. Also, the medication was shown to reduce the onset of sleep latency. Therefore, the study shows that sleep medication are effective in improving the quality of sleep.
Although sleeping pills have been shown to be effective in improving the quality of sleep, they go hand in hand with side effects that could severely impact an individual’s health condition. Sleeping bills are only intended for short-term use, and their long-term use could lead to problems such as addiction. The body may get accustomed to the sleeping pills, resulting in reduced effectiveness of the sleeping pills, and making it necessary to increase the dosage to make it effective.
Also, in the event that the individual tries to withdraw from the drugs, the body may be impacted by withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or fatigue. Also, sleeping pills may result in drug counteractions, especially if the individual is taking medication for other conditions. For this reason, sleeping pills are not the most effective solutions for all individuals impacted by sleep disorders. Sleeping pills can cause allergic reactions such as face-swelling, hallucinations, sleep-walking, and suicidal tendencies.
The second solution involves sleep training and behavioral changes that should be implemented in a home setting. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (2017), the use of relaxation techniques and the change of sleeping habits can make someone sleep faster. Relaxation techniques work by inducing mental and physical relaxation, therefore enabling an individual to sleep faster.
People who have been trained on sleep habits report sleeping for longer hour and do not wake up as often as people who have not been instructed on sleep training. A typical training session is slated to run for four sessions lasting up to a week.
One of the tenets of sleep hygiene involves avoiding stimulants such as coffee and alcoholic beverages for about four to six hours before bedtime. Sleep hygiene also involves avoiding smoking, heavy foods, and foods containing spices. Getting more physical exercises during the day and less exercise during the night is also part of sleep hygiene that is meant to improve sleeping.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine (2017) indicates that part of sleep training is stimulus control, where the sleep-wake cycle of the body is improved. Stimulus control involves having a fixed schedule for sleep. It includes behavior such as only going to bed when tired, and always getting up at the same time in the morning.
Sleep training is part of cognitive behavioral therapy that aims to change thought patterns that could prevent a person from sleeping. One’s sleeping behavior may be related to their thoughts and attitudes about sleep. For instance, if an individual believes that having seven hours of sleep is not adequate to make them rested the following day, it acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy as they may not seem rested enough on the following day.
Also, negative thoughts concerning sleep may influence one’s actual sleep patterns. Part of sleep training is recognizing one’s thoughts and attitudes towards sleep that could lead to behavior that has a negative impact on sleep.
A study by Homework Help highlighted the importance of changing sleep hygiene with the aim of improving mental health disorders. The results of the study showcased that increased sleep durations and the provisions of a conducive environment for sleep lowered the symptoms associated with ADHD.
Children reported having better relationships with their parents, while the children also exhibited better relations with their peers at school. Therefore, sleep was determined to have a positive effect on mental disorders. The results of the study can be generalized to other mental disorders, such that getting adequate sleep should be viewed as dome of the ways through which mental disorder symptoms can be improved.
Sleep training on adults is effective in promoting healthy sleeping habits. A study conducted by Haimov and Shatil (2013) indicated that sleep training has a positive impact on sleep quality and cognitive impact. The study involved an eight-week cognitive training program that increased cognitive performance among older adults. The study involved participants aged between 65 and 85 years the participants’ sleep were monitored by an actigraph while they were sleeping.
The results of the study showed a marked improvement in sleep quality and cognitive performance. Sleep training was shown to have an improvement in sleep onset latency and sleep efficiency. Therefore, the results of the study indicated that sleep training results in avoiding distractions that could lead to poor sleep.
One of the recommended ways for sleeping is getting sleepy. An individual can adopt habits that will induce sleepiness such as avoiding exercise and caffeine during bedtime, and abstaining from watching TV or using computers an hour before bedtime. Most people are unable to get adequate sleep as they cannot fall asleep.
It is recommended that people should get cognitively prepared for sleep by having a regular sleep schedule involving a particular sleeping and waking time, and sleeping for a specific duration of hours every night. This way, the body will adjust to the new sleep routine, resulting in better sleep.