How can sleep affect your mental health?
Not getting enough sleep can impact our daily lives and how we function throughout the day. You might notice that you feel exhausted or irritated when you are not well rested for the day. These symptoms and feelings tell us that our body and mind have not rested. Lack of sleep can decrease focus on important tasks and decrease one’s ability to think clearly and concisely. It can also lead to mood changes and one can feel frustrated and irritated at insignificant things. Not sleeping enough can lead to anxiety and many other issues. These can all affect one’s mental health and lead to more significant issues.
Why do we dream during REM sleep?
REM stands for rapid eye movement. When we are in REM sleep, our eyes move rapidly in all different directions. However, we do not send any visual information to our brains. Research shows that we dream during REM sleep because that is when our brains are more active. According to research, sleep deprivation impairs attention span and one’s working memory and affects one’s long-term memory and decision-making skills. Dreams during REM sleep are typically more vivid, fantasy like, and/or bizarre even though they may involve elements of waking life. By contrast, non-REM dreams tend to involve more coherent content that involves thoughts or memories grounded to a specific time and place. It is said that REM sleep helps in consolidating memories and is in average sleep cycles.
What are some strategies to improve sleep according to research?