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The Therapist's Shelf: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD

Memorial Heights Counseling Houston | Psychotherapy for depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, relationships

We all know that sleep is important, but have you ever wondered why? In "Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams," scientist and sleep researcher Matthew Walker details why sleep is so vital for us--and the devastating impact not getting enough sleep can have on our lives. In our fast-paced society that too often views sleep as weakness, it is necessary for us to be aware of just how consequential the amount and quality of sleep we are getting is.

Although much of the book focuses on sleep's impact on our physical health, Walker makes sure to point out how sleep (and sleep loss in particular) impacts our mental health. Here are some of the key takeaways about the importance of healthy sleep patterns for our mental health:

  • We know that our mental health impacts our sleep quality and quantity...but our sleep also impacts our mental health!

  • Sleep impacts our mood: A lack of sleep can make us feel irritable, moody, or anxious.

  • Sleep helps us learn and solidifies new information and memories; a lack of sleep can inhibit learning and memory development.

  • Sleep promotes creativity.

  • Sleep loss in connected to numerous neurological and psychiatric conditions.

  • Lack of sleep makes it very difficult for us to concentrate and pay attention.

  • Lack of sleep can make us more emotionally reactive and is connected to mood swings, impulsivity, aggression, behavioral problems, bullying, sensation seeking, risking taking, and addition or relapse.

If you want to make some significant changes in your mood, attention span, capacity for creativity, and ability to learn, first make sure you are getting plenty of sound sleep each night. For more information about how counseling can help with your mental health symptoms and sleep patterns, request more information or schedule an appointment today.

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